The 90-year-old Bell Tea building on the corner of Hope and Carroll Sts, in Dunedin. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Dunedin's distinctive Bell Tea building is on the market,
along with the Bell Tea and Coffee Company's several premises
in East Tamaki, Auckland.
The Dunedin factory of New Zealand's oldest tea company,
founded in 1898 by Norman Harper Bell in Dunedin, closed
earlier this year with the loss of 10 jobs, because the cost
of earthquake-strengthening the four-storey building was
Production shifted to Auckland after it was estimated
strengthening the Dunedin premises could cost more than $1
Bayleys commercial, industrial and retail agent Robin Hyndman
said the main building covered 2623sq m over four levels,
plus an adjoining single-level warehouse. Tenders close on
August 7, and vacant possession is offered.
Dunedin City Council rating information puts the combined
capital values of both Hope St titles at $545,000.
''It's one of Dunedin's iconic buildings and while it
requires seismic upgrading, it offers ... add-value
opportunities, including residential conversion,'' Mr Hyndman
In October 2013 Bell Tea was sold to Wellington investment
company Pencarrow Private Equity, by supermarket chain
Foodstuffs. It had bought the Bell Tea Company in 1962 and
ran it as a separate business from its retail outlets.
Foodstuffs had rebranded it Bell Tea and Coffee Company eight
years ago, after buying Burton Hollis Coffee.
Also for sale are Bell's several large East Tamaki
properties, valued in total at more than $11 million, and
collectively returning more than $1.1 million annual rent.
Tamaki includes Bell's main production plant and head office
at Crooks Rd, and two adjoining properties on East Tamaki Rd.