The proposed Wellington Northern Corridor, which will see State Highway 1 bypass Otaki, is raising questions about the town's future.
Real estate agents say it is anyone's guess what it will mean for Otaki: whether its string of outlet stores beside the highway will suffer, or whether it and the nearby beach township will flourish on Otaki's reputation as a lifestyle destination.
Bayleys agent Andrew Smith, who is selling the Ballentynes fashion store in Otaki township, said someone could get a real bargain when the store was auctioned on June 26.
"Otaki is the wild card in the Kapiti region's deck. The main highway will eventually bypass the town, but this could just as easily be a plus for Otaki as it may further enhance the town's reputation as a niche shopping and lifestyle destination," he said
The Ballentynes property, at 34 Main St, is being sold as part of a deceased estate.
"The family now wish to divest themselves of this remaining property and have indicated to us that they will meet the market on auction day," Smith said.
"The clear message this sends to the market - and in particular to prospective owner-occupiers - is that there is a potential bargain to be had."
The property's 2011 rating valuation of $370,000 was not regarded as a realistic guide to what it might now sell for, said Smith.
The 456 square metre shop on a 776sqm corner site, with off-street parking to the rear, has been tenanted by Ballentynes Fashion Central for about a decade.
Smith said the location had worked very well for the 27-store Ballentynes chain.
Ballentynes now had a monthly tenancy agreement paying annual rent of $30,999 plus GST.
"This unit is probably the best shop in the Otaki township retail strip and an owner-occupier seeking to ditch their landlord and secure cost-effective premises should consider it seriously."
Smith said the street's appeal to residents and visitors had been enhanced following a recent upgrades of footpaths, gardens and public amenities.
- The Dominion Post