Quake money buys Auckland mall

00:43, Aug 04 2014

Christchurch property investors have pooled earthquake insurance proceeds to buy an Auckland shopping mall for $45.75 million.

The group have bought the big box Waitakere Mega Centre. They will settle the sale next March.

The identity of the buyers is still under wraps, but The Press has learned the group comprises about 20 investors, mostly Cantabrians, including members of the syndicate which owns 17-storey Forsyth Barr House in central Christchurch.

The syndicate is now selling the damaged office tower in as-is condition after receiving a substantial insurance payout, and is understood to be in negotiations with potential buyers.

Hamish Doig, head of real estate company Colliers in Christchurch, said it was a shame to see investment money leave the city.

Some of the Auckland mall buyers still had money invested in Christchurch, he said.

Other Christchurch commercial landlords to have sold up to invest elsewhere include Miles Middleton, who sold two City Mall properties and bought a central Auckland office tower, rich lister Simon Henry, who put his large Christchurch portfolio up for sale and moved to Auckland, and Angus McFarlane who sold central city development sites to invest in Texas.

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