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News Release

Farmers Department Store – New offering on the market with 25-year lease

JLL are marketing the corner Maria Pl and Saint Hill Street, Whanganui



Long term investment with development potential/new-zealand/en-gb/news/916/long-term-investment-with-development-potentialAUCKLANDLong term investment with development potential
Former Fire Station on high profile corner site/new-zealand/en-gb/news/915/former-fire-station-on-high-profile-corner-siteCHRISTCHURCHFormer Fire Station on high profile corner site

The Farmers Department Store building and car parks in Whanganui is for sale through JLL agent John Binning. The property will be sold by unconditional Binding Tender, closing at 4pm Thursday, 18 October 2018. 

The freehold title for the property will be issued prior to settlement and will comprise of a two-level stand-alone building, with a total floor area of approximately 5660sqm over both levels; connected by an escalator and lift. The overall site extends to 6,000sqm, including 65 car parks. It occupies a prime city centre location, with direct access from Victoria Avenue and two street frontages; giving significant exposure to traffic on both Saint Hill Street and Maria Place. Built for Farmers in 2014-2015, the building is relatively new, with a New Building Standard of 100%.

“This property presents the opportunity to secure one of New Zealand’s longest investment leases available today,” says Binning. “There is a 25-year lease in place to Farmers from 2015, which expires in 2040. The passing rent is $1,103,798pa, with the first rent review due in 2020. Thereafter, the rental income increases annually by the CPI, thus securely protecting it against inflation for the next 20 years.” 

Farmers is one of New Zealand’s largest retail store groups and opened their first retail space in Auckland in 1920. They have since established themselves across the country as a well-known and trusted retailer. The stores sell a range of products, from clothing to health and beauty and small appliances. Farmers is traditionally known as a middle market retailer, similar to Sears or JC Penny in the U.S, although following The Warehouse’s entrance into the New Zealand market, the company has moved to establish dominance in the upper end of the market; increasingly carrying more branded products. 

“The number of Farmers stores in New Zealand is growing with a new store in Silverdale and planned new stores in Auckland at Sylvia Park, the rebuild of the Newmarket store as part of the Westfield expansion project, and Tauranga Crossing in the Bay of Plenty,” says Binning. 

James Pascoe Group and Fisher & Paykel purchased Farmers Trading Company in 2003 for $311 million. Already in the retail scene, the James Pascoe Group, who is the largest retailer in New Zealand, also owns brands such as Pascoes Jewellers, Stewart Dawsons, Goldmark, Stevens and Whitcoulls, along with other retail brands in Australia. Altogether, the James Pascoe Group has 850 stores across eight brands spread throughout New Zealand and Australia. 

Manawatu-Whanganui district’s tourism is on the rise, having increased by 5 per cent over the past 12 months. In 2009 tourist spending in the region was $639 million. This number has reached $993 million in February 2018.

“Whanganui is known for being strong in industry such as manufacturing, engineering and farming, however visitor and tourist spend is also important to the district,” explains Binning. 

Although international tourists make an impact on the local economy, it is domestic travelers who, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, spend the most. In the year to February 2018, domestic travelers spent $821 million in the area, followed by Australians who spent $44 million. Visitors spent most on retail, with sales totaling $271 million for the year to February 2018. 

“The Farmers building in central Whanganui is in a prime location to capture this retail spend, a lot of which comes from Wellingtonians who are wanting to venture out of the city to experience a different shopping environment,” says Binning.