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New Zealand's Biggest Retail Property Auctions Announced

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New Zealand's Biggest Retail Property Auctions Announced

Retail outlets at two of this country's biggest shopping centres have been placed on the market for sale in what will be one of the biggest single sell-down of retail properties ever to be held in New Zealand.

Some 23 units at the Westgate Shopping Centre in West Auckland, and 12 sites at the Fraser Cove Shopping Centre retail outlets are up for sale through either auction or tender - with combined values estimated to top a combined total of $75million. Both shopping centres are owned by companies associated with New Zealand Retail Property Group Management Limited (NZRPG).

The units represent the opportunity to directly purchase investment property within well established, high-value, regional shopping centres in a prime growth location. Both centres are being sold through Bayleys real estate - with auctions in Auckland on March 11.

Westgate Shopping Centre at the top of Auckland's North-Western motorway was originally developed in 1998.

Westgate Shopping Centre occupies almost 12 hectares of land and has a high level of exposure to the busy North-Western motorway. Westgate is an established mixed use retail location surrounded by residential suburbs, and offers a consolidated cluster of retail trade activity, leisure facilities and food and beverage venues in a streetscape environment with ample customer car parking.

The tenancy schedule at Westgate Shopping Centre reads like a veritable 'Who's Who' of market-leading New Zealand retailing. featuring Countdown, The Warehouse, Postie Plus, Paper Plus, Robert Harris Coffee, United Travel, Farmers, Stirling Sports, Pumpkin Patch, Michael Hill Jewellers, the ASB, ANZ, Westpac, and National Bank.

Meanwhile in Tauranga, the diversity of retail activity within Fraser Cove is equally vast - featuring retail brand names such as Countdown, The Warehouse, Repco, United Video, North Beach, Khatmandu, Postie Plus, Burger King, Paper Plus, and Big Save.

Fraser Cove was completed in 2002 by companies associated with New Zealand Retail Property Group. The total area on opening date was approximately 19,000 square metres. The centre was extended by an additional 2200 square metres in 2004 when a two level building was added - with ground floor retail space and Contours Gym on the first floor.

The success of Fraser Cove as a retail destination encouraged further significant extension of the property - adding another 2200 square metres last year - delivering more car parking spaces to take the total number well past 1000 vehicles.

New Zealand Retail Property Group Management Limited (NZRPG) chairman and founder, Mark Gunton, said the company had been instructed to undertake an ownership restructure of two of its flagship assets.

"We see this sales process as delivering a revised capital structure to this portion of the portfolio through the direct involvement of external property owners. At a property management level, it will remain 'business-as-usual' as we will continue to strive to grow these assets and deliver on their potential," Mr Gunton said.

"The companies associated with NZRPG elected to sell off some of the retail sites within Westgate and Fraser Cove portfolio as an alternative to debt raising. The offer represents approximately 33 percent of the two centres by value, with NZRPG associated companies intending to retain the balance as part of their portfolio.

"This is an opportunity for investors to purchase properties within catchment dominating sub regional shopping centres. Prospective owners will benefit from their investment being part of a comprehensive and proactively managed retail centre."

Mr Gunton said the sale of retail properties within Westgate and Fraser Cove represented an outstanding and unique opportunity for astute private and corporate investors to become part of an institutional property investment portfolio whose value would be enhanced by the ongoing management by NZRPG and continued part ownership by its associated companies.

"Outgoings will be paid for by the tenants - and not the owner - through operational expenses, so this is another attractive feature of purchasing property in this development," he said.

"The structure of this sell-down and the ongoing investor security delivered by the property management contracts in place, ensure the offering will be attractive to passive property investors. Retained ownership of some units by companies associated with NZRPG, also ensures future growth opportunities and continued quality management of Westgate and Fraser Cove."

Bayleys Real Estate executive director John Bayley said the opportunity to directly own retail property within an institutional grade retail centre under management was unprecedented in New Zealand.

"Participation in real estate holdings of this quality is usually only available indirectly through investment in listed property trusts," John Bayley said.

As the manager of the Westgate and Fraser Cove properties, NZRPG Management Limited

has a track record of sustained growth of the assets at well above general industry levels since they were built.

NZRPG Management Ltd will continue to proactively manage and administer the properties.

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