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Prized Ponsonby parish a divine opportunity

The landmark 140 year old St Johns Church in the heart of the thriving Ponsonby commercial precinct is set to change hands in a divine opportunity for investors.

A landmark Ponsonby property is generating interest amongst purchasers drawn to its prominent location and huge frontage to a critical city fringe arterial.

The recently refurbished St Johns Church on 1,220sq m of freehold land at 229A Ponsonby Road is amongst the city’s oldest surviving places of worship, consecrated at a pivotal time for the expanding suburb.

Bayleys salesperson Damien Bullick says the property is a local icon and presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for a new purchaser to secure a strategic asset in the heart of premier Ponsonby’s commercial district.

“Benefitting from high foot traffic, excellent visibility, and proximity to a thriving retail and hospitality hub, the premises is instantly recognisable as the St Johns Church – a 140 year old heritage building of distinguished character.

“Its Gothic Revival architectural style is commanding with pointed arches and intricate detailing, which provides a springboard for a variety of potential uses for a new owner, including adaptive reuse as a cultural or event space, community hub, or residential conversion subject to appropriate consents being obtained.

“While the church features a heritage protection, later additions including an attached hall are not historic, presenting an opportunity for repurpose or partial redevelopment.”

Mr Bullick is marketing the property with colleague Alan Haydock for sale by tender, closing at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, 21st November (unless sold prior).

Bayleys salesperson Alan Haydock says the original church was first constructed in 1882 to serve the religious needs of the growing Methodist and Wesleyan communities, which were amongst Auckland’s first settlers.

“In the 19th century, the church attracted a notable congregation which included prominent business figures like the proprietor of the New Zealand Herald and the co-founder of Winstone Brothers haulage and quarrying.

“The calibre of worshippers is reflected in its grandeur compared with other Auckland churches and subsequent modifications.”

Today, the church complex comprises 452sq m (more or less) of single-level floor area with a seismic assessment of 67 percent of New Building Standard plus 12 car parks.

“The site could benefit from repurposing as an integrated premises with a commercial operation occupying the original church and later additions adapted to maximise Business – Town Centre zoning provisions, which permit a range of options.

“A new purchaser would naturally preserve the church’s exterior, which is timber weatherboard and a rich combination of heritage features, including decorative panelling, plaster mouldings and pierced friezes with timber pinnacles.

“Internally, character features have been painstakingly preserved, including spectacular stained-glass windows.

“The building features a massive 12.8m stud height, which, combined with a large open-plan layout, provides flexibility for potential use.”

Adjoining the original church structure, an addition – built circa 1977 – features a separate entrance and approximately 150sq m (more or less) of open-plan floor area.

“This extension doesn’t fall under the historic protection of the main church building, and could therefore, be repurposed or removed to extend the improvements on the site as required (subject to council consents).

“Offered to the market with vacant possession, St Johns is an extremely desirable trophy property in the heart of Auckland’s top-tier commercial and residential precinct,” he says.

Click here for more information on the listing.

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