Junction hopeful in receivership
Blighted from the beginning, the unsuccessful 9000 square metre Tawa Junction bulk retail centre has finally found its way to a receivership sale.
Originally opened on the 2.7 hectare site in Surrey St, at the northern end of Tawa in 1989, the region’s forerunner to ‘‘ mega centres’’ or ‘‘ super centres’’ immediately attracted tenants such as Lewis’s, Cargo King, The Warehouse and others. But it struggled from day one having failed to gain planning approval for a supermarket which the developers always saw as critical to the centre’s success. Lewis’s were the last to leave the location three years ago.
As it has passed through various owners over more than 20 years various activities have been tried, including a reinvigoration of a large part of the complex as a Building Depot outlet. That ceased when the parent company of The Building Depot was placed in receivership.
Since then vandals and graffiti artists have dominated the property. There is one tenant occupying about 2000 square metres but their lease expires in 2012.
Colliers International broker Chris Gollins has the task of marketing the property by tender on behalf of the receivers of Equitable Mortgages Limited. Despite its history, he is positive about the property’s future.
‘‘ Wellington City Council’s recent Plan Change 73 now finally extinguishes any possibility of a supermarket, or retail activity of less than 1500m2 on the site, forcing potential purchasers to see value in alternative uses,’’ says Mr Gollins.
‘‘The last ‘ owner’ as such was Hunt Group, owned by the late Peter Hunt who made two successful Resource Consent applications for very extensive rest home, hospital and retirement village concepts. Two reputable valuers separately valued the land at more than $15 million for those purposes. Equitable became mortgagee in possession after Peter’s death in 2009.’’
The present rateable value is $7.4 million.
Mr Gollins says time has worked for the receivers, with the Wellington region increasingly finding itself short of such large, flat land areas.
‘‘ Especially one with such a large, very functional building that offers potential for a vast number of uses. And in terms of staff getting to the site it has the benefit of Tawa station less than 100m away. I have absolutely no doubt we will achieve a satisfactory outcome for the receivers.’’
Tenders close on July 28.