Chris Parkin spending up large on Wellington properties

Former councillor and art collector Chris Parkin sold the Museum Art Hotel in June.

Former councillor and art collector Chris Parkin sold the Museum Art Hotel in June.

The former owner of Wellington's Museum Art Hotel is back on the property ladder, just four months after saying goodbye to the hotel he saved from demolition.

Chris Parkin, who sold the site to Sydney-based Amalgamated Holdings in June for $28.5 million, has bought the Wellington Master Builders building in Wakefield St property for $14.25m.

The former councillor and art collector, who still lives in his Museum Art Hotel apartment, said he did not venture far when looking for another property investment - this one is on his back door step.

Chris Parkin bought Wellington Master Builders building, in Wakefield St, for $14.25m.

Chris Parkin bought Wellington Master Builders building, in Wakefield St, for $14.25m.

Parkin bought the property for several reasons, he said.

"The first is, I can see it from my back window, and secondly, because I think it's located in the next big development area in town.

"I'm pretty sure the convention centre is likely to go ahead, so I don't think it will be very long before the land next door to my building will be built on," Parkin said.

"I've been in this area, so I'm quite comfortable purchasing there - we do quite well out of it."

Parkin believed the Wakefield and Cable St block, which stretched from Chaffers New World to Xero, would become a premium residential area in town, he said.

"I'm not saying this is the right part of town yet, but it will become the right part of town."

The price for the building was "at the top end", but it was 100 per cent new building standard (NBS), he said.

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"All in all it's a quality building, that has been very well designed."

He had no plans for the building in the short-term, but it could do with a new coat of paint, he said.

"What colour? I'm not quite sure yet."

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On top of his inner-city purchase, Parkin has also bought property in Martinborough.

He snapped up Aylstone Boutique Retreat for "south of $2m" and plans to retire there - eventually, he said.

"That is a bit more of a hobby than a business. We planned it for retirement...our objective is to make it the nicest property in the district."

His wife had been able to return to her first love - gardening, Parkin said.

He admitted he had had little downtime since the sale of the Museum Art Hotel.

"I've been extraordinarily busy. I was suppose to be living the life of luxury and retirement, but I have been working very hard."

But he planned to give his wallet a rest now, he said.

"You are always looking, all the time, but this is enough for me at the moment.

"It's funny, I said the most important thing is not to rush into anything, to do the research and consider all the options, and what do I do? Rush into it.

"The main thing is, I'm not leaving Wellington."

As for his tech company investments plans, Parkin was looking but had not found anything that sparked his interest yet, he said.

"Finding the right investment profile is not easy. I think for me to find tech investments, it is going to be a much longer, harder road."

The nine-storey Wellington Master Builders building is leased by The Lanes Bowling Lounge, Wilson Parking, Master Builders, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation as well as a few others.

Gollins Commercial director Chris Gollins, who sold the property and negotiated the sale of the Museum Art Hotel, said Parkin enjoyed "considerable success with insightful purchases" of several investment properties in Te Aro.

Those included Mr Chan's building in Cable St, which was sold to Foodstuffs; the former Silverscreen/St Laurence building in Wakefield St, which sold to the Chinese Government for a cultural centre; and Hawkins House in Wakefield St, which was sold to another private investor.

The Wellington Master Builders building sale did not include the five roof top apartments, Gollins said.

Amalgamated Holdings formally took ownership of the Museum Art Hotel in August.

It will eventually be renamed the QT Museum Wellington Hotel and will become New Zealand's first hotel to operate under the upmarket brand, which has five hotels in Australia.


 - Stuff


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