Council acquires strategies for property

The properties are fully tenanted. Photo: GoogleMaps.

The Whakatane District Council-owned Harbour Fund has purchased the leaseholder’s interest on two strategically-significant CBD properties at 58 The Strand and 31 Quay Street.

The properties are fully-tenanted and provide a strong investment return for the Harbour Fund in the short-term.

Their riverside location between the town’s retail area and the apartment complexes to the east provides an important opportunity to advance a comprehensive development approach, which could include neighbouring properties.

Strategy and Economic Development General Manager Julie Gardyne says the importance of the properties has been highlighted through the 2008 Town Vision Plan and, subsequently, by advice from the Grow Whakatane Advisory Board and advisors from the Property Group.

“The Harbour Fund owns the underlying land and purchasing the lease and the buildings will allow the Council to leverage this strategic land-holding to facilitate economic growth and drive the implementation of the Town Vision.

“Council already owns 62 The Strand and 35 Quay Street – the Babinka Restaurant property – and the land, but not the leaseholder’s interests on the properties in between at 60 The Strand and 33 Quay Street.

“Together, these properties occupy a high-profile location, with multiple view shafts, which underscores the importance of their future development.

“Purchasing them provides Council with an opportunity to implement Concept 1 of the Town Vision Plan for a stepped-down development to soften the perspective of the adjacent high-rise apartment building to the east.”

Julie said facilitating a comprehensive development of the whole corner site had been a long-held aspiration.

“Discussions aimed at facilitating the marketing of all of these properties as a single development opportunity have not been successful, as agreement could not be reached by all parties as to an acceptable sale price.”

Market valuations for 58 The Strand and 31 Quay Street were obtained in December last year and agreement was reached with the owner to purchase the leaseholder’s interests, subject to Council approval.

Ownership of the property transferred to the Council on Thursday.

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