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Family sells 107-year-old slice of Takapuna's history

SIMON MAUDE
Last updated 05:00 04/03/2014
HAll's Corner

TIMES PAST: From the early 1900s of a steam tram at Hall's Corner in Takapuna.

HAll's Corner
TIMES PAST: Hall’s Corner has played host to a plethora of businesses.

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A literal cornerstone of Takapuna's CBD is up for sale - for the first time in 107 years.

Hall's Corner, a 2.3 hectare wedge of prime real estate, at the intersection of Lake And Hurtsmere roads is expected to fetch millions.

Andrew Bruce from Harcourts, the realtors managing the tender, says the sale is a "once in a lifetime opportunity" given CBD land is "extremely tightly held".

Family representative barrister Graeme Hall says: "It hasn't been an easy decision to sell. We just think the time is right. We'd love to see it developed into something that would reflect the new Takapuna.

"We're expecting a good price. We're hoping people will see what the value of the property is," he says.

With a government valuation over $15 million, interest has been "reasonably strong" in the four-title parcel, Mr Bruce says.

Graeme Hall's great-grandfather William Henry Hall bought the land in 1907. Soon after, he built a bakery and tearooms on the site to cater for tourists.

A century ago Takapuna was more a holiday destination.

A day's journey away from Auckland, visitors flocked to Lake Pupuke rather than the beaches, Mr Hall says.

Although William Hall, a Gallipoli veteran, bought the property, his daughter Phyllis left a longer legacy. From 1940 she managed the property's leased shops for more than 50 years.

"She took a very personal interest in her tenants, collecting the rent every month.

"She was very hands on, very personable," Mr Hall says.

Until the harbour bridge was built in 1959, Ms Hall took ferries and trams to make the lengthy return trip from Oraeki to Takapuna, he says.

Across the decades, the property, now listed under four separate titles, has accommodated a plethora of businesses including a Woolworths, a butchery and a hardware store.

Much has changed over the years, but today, alongside the sushi shop, juice bar and travel agency, a bakery is still one of the tenants.

"It's got a pretty fascinating background," Mr Bruce says, yet the site offers a buyer the opportunity to, "create something special and unique, there's a lot of cool things you could do".

Possibilities for the site include a boutique foodcourt and transforming the internal car park into a courtyard, he says.

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- North Shore Times

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