Bunnings Warehouse Mt Roskill carpark needs seismic upgrade rather than whole store, owner says

Only the carpark at the now-shut Bunnings Warehouse Mt Roskill needs to be upgraded, not the store, its owner says.

A statement from NZX-listed specialist retail Investore Property outlined the situation, after it washref=”https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/black-friday-bunnings-shuts-big-492m-mt-roskill-warehouse-cites-earthquake-risks/GBRDHXVVCSXUIHK6SHIVPTXMNQ/” target=”_blank”>announced on Friday that the $49.2 million store would shut temporarily.

“Investore has been working with Bunnings on a property improvement strategy to enhance the overall customer experience, and plans to undertake seismic strengthening works to the carpark only, as the store itself does not require these upgrades,” the landlord said.

On this Black Friday retail bonanza day, Bunnings said it had suddenly shut the store after engineering advice about seismic issues.

A statement from Australia described problems at the property at 2 Carr Rd, owned by NZX-listed business Investore headed by Philip Littlewood.

“Bunnings will temporarily close its Mount Roskill store after receiving engineers’ advice that raised concerns around the seismic resilience of the carpark. Based on that advice, we have made the decision to close the store until further notice whilst we work through next steps with our landlord and engineers,” the retailer said.

Subsequently, Investore issued its statement explaining what happened and indicating that it believed the shop had bright prospects.

“Investore Property has been working with its tenant, Bunnings, which occupies its Mt Roskill property, in relation to a planned expansion of the store and carpark,” the landlord said.

“This includes seismic upgrades and were shared in Investore’s recent interim report. As a responsible landlord, Investore proactively undertakes any strengthening upgrades once these have been identified, and is working with Bunnings to develop plans for the overall improvement of the property, of which the strengthening works will form part. We look forward to being able to reopen this store to the public very soon,” Investore said.

No date has been provided by either Bunnings or Investore for when the shop opens.

Investore only bought the Bunnings store in the past year for $48.5m, in a trade with associated business Stride Property.

But seismic issues were declared at the time and plans were in place to fix the property.

Bunnings NZ director Jacqui Coombes said on Friday: “We’re sorry to have to close the store until further notice but we have to make sure our stores are safe for team and customers and we thank customers for their understanding.

“We are making sure our team are looked after during this time and we will redeploy them to nearby stores or offer individual options that work for them. We are working with our landlord and engineers on next steps and we’ll update our customers and the community as soon as we can.

“Retail customers can continue to shop with us at Manukau, Grey Lynn, Mount Wellington or New Lynn stores or online by selecting one of these stores as their closest store on our website and items will be delivered to their homes,” she said.

Investore, managed by Stride, was specifically formed to buy large-format retail property assets.

In 2016, associate Stride transferred six properties “by way of sale and purchase agreements for cash consideration equal to the most recently obtained independent valuation of the properties transferred”, the business said.

It now owns 43 properties valued at $980.3m, according to an October 9 statement.

The business suffered during Covid when it cut rent to tenants by about $1m.

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