Iconic Bay building up for auction

The former Star Bakery building in Walmer Estate has been decommissioned.
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

Port Elizabeth’s landmark former Star Bakery building in Walmer will go under the hammer at an onsite auction in less than two weeks. The property, which extends over 7 785m² and fronts onto the city’s bustling Heugh Road commercial node, was last valued by the municipality at R13.1-million.

It will be offered on auction at midday on June 19.

The bakery was acquired, along with four other bakeries in the Eastern Cape, by the Premier Group in March 2013.

While Premier sank millions of rands into the upgrade of its newly acquired facilities, the Walmer bakery was decommissioned soon after Premier announced its closure in February this year.

This means the Walmer facility – which had attracted labour unrest and an arson attack as a result of the closure of operations – no longer has any equipment and will not be sold as a going or operational concern.

At the time of the winding down of operations, Premier said the facility was “not optimal to meet the future volume and technology requirements for the Eastern Cape region and will consequently be closed down”.

Greg Nafte, co-director of Nexus Property Group which is handling the sale, said the property was zoned industrial and was well suited to warehousing or retail use.

He said while a reserve price had been set, it was confidential.

“It is very well situated close to the airport and just 5km from the port,” he said. “It is a prominent industrial property that straddles 158-160 Heugh Road.

“This auction presents property investors with a chance to invest in a landmark asset in a growing, central node that is experiencing both commercial and retail development growth.

“The property consists of a large paved yard expanse and a gross lettable area of 3 061m², which comprises multiple storerooms, warehouses, offices, wash bays and workshops.

“It is being sold with vacant occupation.”

He said viewing of the property was by appointment only and that auction participants were required to submit a R50 000 refundable deposit.

Due to protests against Premier’s staff retrenchments when the company began the rationalisation of its Eastern Cape operations, three petrol bombs were thrown at the building, but there was no damage to the property.

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