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Red letter day for investors as Devonport post office site goes up for sale

Purpose built in the 1930s as part of the first Labour Government’s expansion of post office services, it served as the Auckland seaside suburb’s local post office for around 50 years.

After being sold in the 1990s, the building was extended to house a museum while the original post office was converted into a restaurant and later a café.

The building was vacant for a number of years before it was bought in a rundown state in 2007 by the Omega Trust, which painstakingly returned it to its former glory in an award-winning refurbishment.

The Category 2 Historic Place-listed building’s character features include a near-original colour scheme, ornate ceiling details, exposed kauri flooring and an impressive glazed atrium and stairwell.

The former post office site is today fully occupied by 11 diverse tenants, ranging from a café and restaurants to a vintage homeware store, a beauty salon, a venture capital provider, an accountancy practice and apartment occupants.

The tenancies generate total net rental income of $292,264 plus outgoings and GST per annum.

The old post office property at Principal Unit 2, 10 Victoria Road, Devonport, is being marketed for sale jointly by Bayleys North Shore Commercial and Omega Commercial. Sale is by deadline private treaty closing on Tuesday 5 April, unless it is sold sooner.

“Having changed hands just twice in over 80 years, this is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure a trophy investment,” said Bayleys salesperson Peta Laery.

“This beautifully restored and presented historic building is a familiar and much-loved landmark. But its beauty is not just skin deep.

“The diverse income streams from 11 tenants, spanning retail, hospitality, office and residential, will also be highly attractive to investors, ensuring the site appeals to both head and heart,” said Laery.

Bayleys salesperson Michael Nees said the offering consisted of a freehold unit-titled property with a gross floor area of approximately 1,055 square metres.

“This encompasses some 466 square metres of ground-floor retail, approximately 230 square metres of office premises on the first floor plus a 77-square metre residential apartment.

“The building contains two more second-floor apartments on separate titles which are not included in the sale,” Nees said.

The property for sale spans the original building constructed in 1938 along with a rear addition dating to the mid-1990s.

The main building has an Initial Evaluation Procedure seismic rating of 67 percent of new building standard, rising to 100 percent for the rear addition.

Derek Wallwork of Omega Commercial said the building’s beauty today owed a great deal to the restoration project of the late 2000s.

“Working with heritage architects Salmond Reed, Omega Trust’s meticulous overhaul included repainting the concrete exterior in its 1930s colours, removing non-original partitions, highlighting the kauri flooring and ornate ceiling details and adding a glazed atrium and stairwell to the rear.

“But the redevelopment went beyond aesthetics. It included a future-proofing upgrade of air conditioning, data cabling, new electrical and plumbing reticulation, security and fire monitoring systems.

“The project was recognised in 2009 with awards from the New Zealand Institute of Architects and the Registered Master Builders Association,” said Wallwork.

Laery said the property and its tenants benefited from a location in the heart of an affluent suburb which was popular with visitors.

The property forms part of the Business – Town Centre zone under the Auckland Unitary Plan, which provides a focus for wide ranging activities including commercial, leisure, residential, tourist, community and civic services.

“Devonport has the feel of a standalone seaside village but is only 12 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland. The town centre is perennially busy with locals and visitors drawn to its vibrant collection of restaurants, cafes, galleries and boutique shops.

“The wider area is benefitting from significant public spending with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport having completed stage one of a two-stage $24 million investment. Devonport has also enjoyed a significant boost with the opening of a 192-unit Ryman retirement village with a purpose-built medical facility,” said Laery.

Click here for more information on the listing.

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