NZs 15 biggest commercial, industrial, retail property sales of 2021: $1b+ transacted

New Zealand’s 15 top commercial, industrial and retail property sales this year saw more than $1 billion of real estate change hands to local and overseas buyers.

From office towers to a hotel, a vineyard and shopping malls in Christchurch and West Auckland, industrial estates to a lifestyle centre, the year was active for top-end real estate.

Chris Dibble, Colliers’ Auckland-based national director of partnerships, research and communications, compiled a list of 2021’s 15 most expensive deals.

That showed how active buyers and sellers had been in the year, the geographic spread of deals and the variety of types of property on buyers’ radars.

Here is Dibble’s list of 2021’s top deals:

• 1. $177m sale of half ANZ Centre, 23-29 Albert St by Precinct Properties to the Singaporean Government

Dibble said the sale of half this tower in Auckland’s heart, bought by the Singaporean Government’s Reco Augustine Private, was 2021’s top deal. Three years earlier, the first half was sold to America’s Invesco via NZRE Swan. The Herald reported plans for that transaction in February.Overseas Investment Office records show Reco got consent to buy its share in March and it cleared the 2018 deal to Invesco’s holding company.

• 2. $152m sale of AA Insurance Building, 46 Sale St, western CBD precinct, to Stride Property

Richard Kirke, Colliers’ capital markets director, said around half of 2021’s big deals went to domestic buyers and half to overseas parties. This sale to the listed business was a good example of domestic parties purchasing, he said.

This deal occurred in May. Stride’s yet-to-be-floated Fabric Property also struck a $217.5m deal to buy an unfinished Newmarket building from Mansons TCLM but that isn’t due to settle till 2023.

• 3. $110m sale of 15 Nicholls Lane, Carlaw Park, Parnell sold by Property For Industry to Prime Property Group.

This is the first stage of Carlaw Park which includes the Quest hotel, 12,000sqm commercial office, retail and car parks. Property for Industry sold to Wellington’s Prime Property Group. Colliers marketed the property, last valued last December at $102.4 million.

• 4. $102.5m sale of 19 Bethlehem Rd, Tauranga to PMG Funds

Bethlehem town centre and development land was sold to PMG Funds in July, according to a Herald report. The retail property, which spans 21,006sq m has 54 tenants including Kmart, Countdown, BP, Smiths City and Chemist Warehouse.

• 5. $92m sale of Bowen House, 1 Bowen St, Wellington to Precinct Properties

Precinct announced this around the middle of the year, saying it would redevelop the 31-year-old building and also buy the Freyberg Building, both in the Government precinct, to become the new home of Parliamentary Services in two years.

• 6. $91.6m purchase of 44 Noel Burnside Rd, Wiri by Property For Industry

PFI said it had bought this large, modern 17,500sq m warehouse, with 2200sq m of canopies and 12,250sq m of yards on a 3.64 ha site on the corner of Noel Burnside Rd and Cavendish Dr not far from State Highway 20. Colliers’ Greg Goldfinch and Mitch Broderson were involved.

• 7. $88m sale of The Palms Shopping Centre, Christchurch to Adelaide’s DI Mauro Group

The major suburban centre on the corner of Marshland and New Brighton Rds, Shirley was bought by Adelaide-based Di Mauro Group in a deal announced in November. The vendor was AMP Capital.

• 8. $79.54m sale of 22 Whakatu Rd, Hastings to Property For Industry

T&G Global said it was selling and leasing back its 9.56ha Whakatu west property to generate money. The property accounts for around 36,000sq m of T&G’s post-harvest operations in Hawke’s Bay, including one of its packhouses, two cool stores, warehousing and 3.7ha of storage yard.

• 9. $75m sale of most of Villa Maria Estate, Māngere to Goodman Property Group

Around August, Goodman said it had bought most of the vineyard where it plans a $500m warehouse and logistics centre. Sir George Fistonich founded the winery in 1961 but FFWL receivers sold it: $211.9m is owed to banks.

• 10. $59.2m sale of 123 Victoria St, Christchurch to PMG

In February, CBRE said Countrywide Group sold the five-level office and hospitality building on more than 5000sq m of freehold land at 105 and 123 Victoria St to PMG Funds. “The property, which is leased to Nexia New Zealand, Alliance Group, NZ Merino, Pacific Radiology and hospitality operators, sold for $59.2m,” CBRE said, announcing it had brokered the sale.

• 11. $58m sale of 16 Kingston St/60 Federal St to Auckland Real Estate Trust

On March 31, the NZX listed business said it had bought these two properties adjoining its 87 Albert St: “The three properties will be re-positioned over the next 18 months into a modern and sophisticated urban A-Grade office complex.”

• 12. $55.7m sale of Bunnings Warehouse New Lynn to Cook Property Group

This retail property at 2-12 Titirangi Rd was sold earlier this year to local investor Ben Cook’s Cook Property Group. The vendor was CBRE Global Investors, headquartered in Australia. That entity sold a portfolio of large-format Australasian retail assets. Cook told the Herald this month that this store was the only New Zealand property sold.

• 13. $49m sale of Wellington’s Freyberg Building to Precinct Properties

The NZX listed landlord increased its holdings in the Capital in June when it announced it had bought 20 Aitken St, settling July 14. The company raised $250m to buy this and Bowen House, setting two big sale records this year.

• 14.$48.8m sale of the Data Centre, 220 Queen St, Auckland CBD by the Herberts’ Empire Capital

This 11-level block on the Victoria St corner opposite the ex-Whitcoulls, now Farmers building was built for AMP in 1962. Bruce Whillans of Whillans Realty Group said: “The property is sold but doesn’t settle until early next year.” Henry Thompson of Whillans sold it, he said. Last year, Empire Capital’s Simon and Paula Herbert bought it for $47.5m, calling it a long-term investment.

• 15. $44m sale Tauranga Crossing Lifestyle Centre, Tauriko

The Herald reported this year the property was bought by a substantial national private investment trust. Gilmours, Farmers and Bed Bath & Beyond have shops in the 11,500sq m complex.

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