Rolleston on a roll for industrial property

10:20 PM Tuesday October 2, 2018 True Commercial

The Southern Motorway extension will propel Rolleston onto the regional map for logistics, distribution and transport-related companies. Photo / Supplied

Rolleston is becoming a highly sought-after location for Christchurch industrial property occupiers, say agents for Savills.

The agency’s industrial brokers say local roading improvements are a major catalyst for increases in land prices in the town’s industrial estates.

Greg O’Brien say the Southern Motorway extension is having a significant effect on Rolleston industrial property values.

And his colleague Ben Dwan says southwest Christchurch, in particular Hornby, has traditionally been “the place to be” for industrial occupiers since the earthquakes, but the market’s focus is now extending further west to include Rolleston.

“Industrial occupiers are aware of the positive effect the Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 2 project is likely to have on the area,” Dwan says. “With travel times between central Christchurch and Rolleston expected to halve, this will result in Rolleston effectively being considered part of the Christchurch metropolitan area for occupiers of industrial property.”

He cites sales data from CoreLogic showing that land values have been rising, with average bare industrial land prices in Rolleston having increased by 78 per cent in the six years from 2012 to 2017.

The average sale value of bare industrial land in Rolleston in 2012 was $105 per square metre, with six sites sold during the year. By 2017, the average sale value had risen to $187 a square metre, across 14 transactions.

O’Brien agrees with Dwan that the new motorway, combined with rail transit options and good availability of high-quality, freehold land; means occupiers are now looking at Rolleston as a viable alternative to Hornby.

Another Savills’ broker, Mitchell Ryder says Southern Motorway extension, due to open in early 2020, “will propel Rolleston onto the regional map for logistics, distribution and transport-related companies, which rely on well-functioning road transport links.

“The motorway extension will be a major asset for exporters, importers, distributors and logistics operators. Travel times to key freight destinations including the airport and Port Lyttelton will be significantly reduced,” he says.

“This is one of the most significant roading projects in Canterbury’s history, which will bring benefits for property owners and occupiers in key locations along its route including Hornby and Rolleston.”

Rolleston also gives occupiers the added benefit of rail access, with the South Island main trunk line and the Midland line intersecting in Rolleston.

Rolleston is also the only industrial area in Christchurch to feature inland ports, with Port Lyttelton’s 27ha Midland Port and the Port of Tauranga’s 15ha MetroBox inland port both based in the town.

“These facilities are among the largest inland ports in New Zealand.”

Two major industrial estates in Rolleston – Selwyn District Council’s Izone Business Hub and Carter Group’s IPort – make up over 300ha of industrial land between them.

IPort director Tim Carter says that with 94 per cent of Canterbury's exports already going through Rolleston, it is an ideal aggregation point for road and rail logistics users. 

One of the latest industrial building projects underway at IPort is a major new facility for MOVE Logistics on a 2.5ha site. The facility is under construction and is expected to be ready for MOVE Logistics to occupy in February next year.

Twenty sites at IPort, ranging in size from 800sq m to 1.1ha, are now either sold or under contract, says Carter.

“Section sales and construction activity at IPort are progressing very well and we’ve been getting consistently high levels of inquiry from potential occupiers. Rolleston is well on its way to housing a critical mass of logistics-related occupiers, with freight links that are among the best in the South Island,” he says.

“The superior transport access, as well as the two major inland ports in Rolleston, will drive huge efficiencies for logistics and freight-related occupiers in Rolleston and around the South Island.”

Carter Group is also developing a convenience retail centre, named IRetail, on an 11,000m2 site adjacent to IPort and facing State Highway One. Resource consent has been granted and construction is expected to commence this year. Retail tenancies in the centre, which is next to the new NPD petrol station, are now being offered for lease through Savills.

According to Selwyn District Council’s growth projections the district’s population is expected to grow from just under 54,000 people in 2016 to over 67,000 in 2025.

Rolleston is expected to be the biggest contributor to the district’s future population growth.