End of era as plumbing business offered for sale
Even in the historic north end of Thames' main street, the 122-year-old Battson Plumbers business is a standout gem, its frontage and signage transporting the window shopper back to the goldrush days on the Coromandel Peninsula.
For the Battson family and locals, the sale of the business and the building marks the end of an era.
"It's sad to see it go," says Christine Battson who has greeted customers in the retail shop for many years, while husband Brent and his older brother Gordon have been on the road working in far flung communities on the holiday mecca peninsula and in its commercial and industrial sector.
Gordon has retirement on his radar, but Brent will be happy to be contracted to help a new plumbing business ease in, says Christine.
There is no shortage of plumbers in the family - Gordon and wife Carol have three sons who are all plumbers and Brent and Christine's only son is currently working in the business. But the young ones in the trade have the travel bug and it is time for their parents to take life a bit easier.
The family hopes the buyer will retain the Battson name.
Real estate broker Mike Swanson of Bayleys Hamilton says the plumbing business and the retail, office and substantial workshop buildings are being marketed separately.
The business has a price tag of $150,000 that includes stock, plant and vans.
The land and the buildings, which run from Pollen Street, Thames' main shopping strip, through to a back street service alley, is on the market for about $350,000.
Swanson says a "very attractive" lease is offered for six years at $32,500 a year.
The zoning is commercial/retail and Christine Battson knows of no protective covenants on the building.
Bayleys is marketing the business and property overseas with a strong location flavour, highlighting Thames' gateway status to one of New Zealand's most exceptional tourism spots, and the town's past as a gold mining capital and historical showcase.
In the late 19th century Thames was a major New Zealand town, built on the twin pioneering industries of gold and kauri logging. The marketing also highlights the Battson family's strong and enduring client base and the opportunity to grow the business.
- © Fairfax NZ News