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Axis takes six from Trans Tasman

By Campbell McIlroy

Friday 21st July 2000

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A $30.7 million investment in six properties from Trans Tasman Properties is already paying dividends for Axis Property Group.

Trans Tasman Properties announced on Tuesday the sale of three properties in Auckland and three in Christchurch.

The divestment is part of its continued disposal of non-core investments with funds being used to retire debt.

While Trans Tasman may not have seen opportunities in the properties, Axis has wasted no time securing leases for most of the properties and has even placed one back on the market since the deal went unconditional on April 17.

The sale was made up of three Auckland properties - 115 Queen St, 91-95 Mt Eden Rd (formerly the Whitcoulls building) and the Fujitsu Centre at 117 Khyber Pass Rd - together with three adjoining retail properties on Cashel St in Christchurch - Shades Atrium, Shades II and the Old Weekly Press Buildings.

The nine-level 3477sq m office building at 115 Queen St contained four retail units which the company has begun to sell off. Two units have already been sold as a single title and negotiations are under way for the two remaining titles.

Axis director Greg Wilkinson said the retail titles represented 45% of the value of the building.

Leases have also been renegotiated for five floors of the building which were due to expire later this year.

The company would look at either holding the building as an investment or possibly selling it down on a strata title basis.

The three-level 2648sq m Fujitsu Centre at 117 Khyber Pass Rd is also now fully leased after TVNZ subsidiary BCL moved into the remaining 507sq m last week.

The property is now returning a net annual rental of $693,000 and has been placed back on the market.

The 1300sq m former base of the Health Funding Authority on Mt Eden Rd is vacant and once refurbished will be either leased or sold to owner occupiers.

Negotiations were under way with two potential owner occupiers.

The property also included three warehouse units ranging in size from 681sq m to 2198sq m, one of which is also vacant.

In Christchurch Axis has signed up Sony and Keith Matheson on nine-year leases for Shades II, commencing in August.

The refurbished Sony concept store, similar to the one in Newmarket in Auckland, and the Keith Matheson store will be handed over on Monday.

The neighbouring Shades Atrium is also being refurbished and Christchurch-based Livingstone's has been appointed property managers for both properties.

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