A unique Hahei accommodation and restaurant complex which has been operating for a decade is for sale as a freehold going-concern with land, buildings and business on offer.
‘The Church’ at 87-91 Hahei Beach Road in the Coromandel has thrived with the natural draw cards of nearby Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach luring visitors year round, but particularly over the summer months.
On a valuable 6600sq m site comprising two lots, owners and long-time residents of Hahei, Richard Agnew and Karen Blair, have built 11 accommodation units, a three bedroom manager’s residence, a conference room and a restaurant and have found a niche market in the seaside town.
The property is being marketed by Sharyn Morcom and Greg Dickie of Bayleys Whitianga with an asking price of $2.1 million plus GST (if any). A registered valuation to support this is available to qualified prospective purchasers.
Thirteen years ago, Agnew and Blair saw the 1916 Taumaranui Methodist Church advertised in the New Zealand Herald for sale by tender. The couple who had long-owned land in Hahei thought it would make a great backpackers hostel and were the successful tenderers. However, relocation quotes turned out to be beyond their budget and they thought they would have to shelve their plans. The owner of the church then provided them with details of a house-mover who promised to do the job for a price that sounded too good to be true. And it was. The removalist made a start on the job before doing a runner with the deposit and the Hahei couple was left up in the air with a building that was partially demolished and going nowhere fast.
With a new vision in their sights, they then decided to salvage all the timber, joinery and fittings and took these all back to Hahei where they rebuilt the church using new exterior cladding but retaining the high-vaulted ceilings with exposed trusses, the lancet windows and utilised the recycled timbers. This is now ‘The Church’ Restaurant.
Deciding to now focus on a more upmarket accommodation option for Hahei, they also built 11 rustic cottages modelled on original Kiwi miners’ dwellings plus a three-bedroom house – all of which feature some of the old timber from the original church. They then added a conference room and support buildings – including a small library, guest lounge and laundry - and have totally landscaped the impressive grounds.
“It’s been a real project and one that we’ve really enjoyed,” says Agnew.
“We’ve been open for 11 summers now while the last five years have shown consistent and promising growth there is definitely still scope for a new owner to take the business even further.”
The accommodation is configured as a block of four open-plan studio units all with ensuites, tea and coffee making facilities and French doors to verandahs; three stand-alone cottages with the same layout but on a larger scale and more private than the units; and four fully self-contained cottages with separate bedroom and extra sleeping in the living area, with two having wood fires for winter.
A three-bedroom home - originally built as the manager’s residence - is currently being utilised as guest accommodation for family or larger groups thus boosting the income stream.
“There is a manager in place for the business during the week, but she lives off site and so the original home has become a really useful part of the business operation adding another dimension to the accommodation options. The current owners manage the property at the weekends and live nearby,” says Sharyn Morcom.
“The accommodation has good occupancy levels because it is well-located and well-priced. It seems to appeal to a wide range of people and the guest book is full of comments praising the uniqueness of the property and the wonderful gardens.”
The licensed restaurant offers upmarket dining for both guests staying at The Church, and for the local clientele. It is a popular venue and is open seven days a week from the end of November through until Easter then for five days a week until early June. It traditionally closes from June-August.
The restaurant operates independently of the accommodation side of the business and is leased to SBB Limited with a three year lease in place from August 2008. There are two further three-year rights of renewal and the annual rental is $19,305 inclusive of gst.
The potential of the business has not been fully-tapped with the current owners identifying the wedding and conference markets as under-promoted at the moment. While the accommodation is often pre-booked well in advance – particularly through summer and over long weekends – the conference or retreat market could be boosted during winter. Cathedral Cove – with the track entrance just a few minutes’ walk from Hahei - is a recognised wedding location with people travelling from around the world to tie the knot on the beach at the unique rock formation.
“Hahei is a special destination and it seems that everyone who comes to the Coromandel makes it their ‘duty’ to visit Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. And people who come to visit tend to stay a night or two so the tourism dollar is assured for a well-run accommodation business such as this.”
Hahei is just two hours by road from Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton.