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Pioneer nightclub site for sale

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A property that was once home to one of Auckland’s first nightclubs, and where Hollywood star Russell Crowe is believed to have played live with his boy band, has been placed on the market for sale.

Situated in vibrant Dominion Road, Mount Roskill, the property was once home to one of the city’s early nightclubs, The Manhatten Lounge. It has since been turned into a large, city fringe retail block that has been placed on the market for sale with Bayleys.

The club was built in the 1960s and was the place where some of New Zealand’s top entertainers performed during the early days of their careers through until the 1990s. Among them were legendary comedian Billy T James, singer Tom Sharplin and Hollywood star Russell Crowe who is believed to have performed with his band Russ le Roq and the Romantics.

Before dating apps like Tinder were being thought about, the Manhatten Lounge was also known for its telephones where customers could ring each other from table to table in the name of old fashioned courtship.

After the club closed the site was turned into a retail location. The Manhatten Lounge has continued on - in name only - as part a function venue at the site, owned by catering company Dominion Food Ltd. The remaining tenants at the freehold property are Burger King and United Video.

The property has been owned by the same family for more than 80 years and they are now looking to move on so have placed it on the market with Bayleys through a tender process closing on October 30.

The property has a government valuation of $5.6 million (July 2011) but it is anticipated the sale price may exceed this, said Bayleys Auckland Central salespeople Mike Adams who is marketing the property with colleagues William Coates and James Appleby.

Its strategic location, multiple income streams and opportunities for development were likely to attract a high level of interest from a diverse range of buyers including owner occupiers, developers, investors and community groups, said Mr Adams.

"Located at 935-942 Dominion Road, this property enjoys high visibility with maximum exposure from three road frontages. Dominion Road is a main arterial route extending from Eden Terrace in the north through to Hillsborough in the south."

"This location offers ease of access to a number of amenities and residential and commercial precincts including Mt Eden, Epsom, Mt Roskill, Mt Albert, Hillsborough and Sandringham. The property is 1.4kM from State Highway 20, providing easy access to the airport and the main motorway systems which are about to be enhanced with extensions underway. This location also offers excellent public transport accessibility and a bus service to the Auckland CBD via Dominion Road.

"The property is currently leased to three tenants and is returning a combined annual income of $397,000. Multinational tenant Burger King is in one building and is on a lease until 2022 with further rights of renewal. A second building housing United Video and Manhatten Lounge/Dominion Catering Ltd, provides further income and flexible leases."

Burger King has a 10-year lease in place with an annual rent of $134,000 and a final expiry date of 2032. United Video has a four-year lease of $143,000 annually, due to expire in 2016. The third tenant, Dominion Catering Ltd has a monthly rental of $10,000, and a notice period of 20 days.

Zoned Business 2 and Mixed Use under the Auckland Council Draft Unitary Plan, the land area of the site is 4,759 sqm with redevelopment opportunities, said Mr Adams.

"This zoning indicates traditional suburban retail centres. The property’s location is within an area experiencing increased residential activity, coupled with a growth of the range of business and leisure activities available. This is creating a unique and diverse environment," said Mr Adams.

The property is for sale through a tender process closing on October 30.

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