The land and buildings housing a popular destination café, restaurant and chocolaterie on Banks Peninsula have been placed on the market for sale.
The prominent three-storey café premises at 79 Main Road, Governors Bay, at the head of Lyttelton Harbour, has become a well-established destination for day-trippers from Christchurch as well as tourists.
Located on a high-profile corner site with commanding views over the harbour, it is leased to Harbour House Cafe – generating annual net rental income of $72,250 plus GST. The current lease runs through to the end of the year, with two further eight-year rights of renewal.
The property is now being marketed for sale by Bayleys Canterbury. Salesperson Kate Mullins said the premises consisted of a building of some 438 square metres on approximately 809 square metres of freehold land, including off-street customer carparking.
“This large former house was originally constructed in the 1960s. Over the past 13 years, the building has been upgraded, strengthened and converted to a café and restaurant premises with specialised chocolate-making facilities – with extensive decking providing uninterrupted views over the harbour,” Mullins said.
“Within the building, which is air-cooled for premium chocolate production conditions, there are two dining rooms, a servery and main counter, a commercial kitchen, office and guest amenities – along with packing and storage rooms downstairs.
“The property has a stunning outlook, with views right down the length of Lyttelton Harbour to the open sea. The large, decked outdoor dining area is oriented to capitalise to the full from these views - which are a vital part of the destination appeal among café customers,” Mullins said.
The building has an Initial Evaluation Procedure rating of 69 percent of new building standards, and is zoned Commercial Banks Peninsula under Christchurch City Council’s district plan. This zoning allows for a wide range of commercial activities – including retail, office, entertainment, health and childcare.
The historic township of Governors Bay was first settled in 1845, and many of the original public buildings still stand.
“Governors Bay’s early growth was driven by its role as a service township supporting the burgeoning farming and horticultural activity in the surrounding countryside. The local jetty used to serve as a base for small boats and steamers delivering fresh produce to ships coming into Lyttelton Port,” Mullins said.
For nearly 50 years, the settlement was the home of one of New Zealand’s best-known writers – children’s author Margaret Mahy, who lived in Governors Bay from the mid-1960s. Following her death in 2012, a memorial plaque dedicated to the author was installed beside the jetty, which features in her children's book “A Summery Saturday Morning”.
“This rich local heritage – combined with Governors Bay’s stunning natural setting at the head of the harbour – make the area a magnet for both Cantabrians and visitors to the region,” Mullins said.
“The settlement retains the air of a rural retreat – yet is only a 15-minute drive from Lyttelton via Governors Bay Road, or from the Christchurch suburb of Cashmere via Dyers Pass Road over the Port Hills.
“With its stunning location and outlook, and strong hospitality offering, the Main Road property has all the credentials of a genuine destination cafe – a short drive from the year-round customer catchment generated by the South Island’s biggest city,” said Mullins.
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