Big Christchurch philanthropic sale

5:53 PM Friday June 22, 2018 Colin Taylor

The 55 Lunns Rd, Middleton, warehouse complex is at the centre of this photo. Photo / Supplied

A Christchurch philanthropic couple Marilyn and Grant Nelson are selling a big freehold industrial complex which, is the last property owned by their charitable trust, The Gama Foundation.

The property, in sought after Middleton in south west Christchurch, is expected to fetch more than $12 million.

Grant Nelson said most of the proceeds of the sale would be given away to help fund university research.

The Nelsons were awarded Queen’s Service Medals in 2011 for their good works and in 2015 gave $22.1m to their causes from the sale of another industrial property in Blenheim Rd, Christchurch.

Sam Staite, director of industrial sales and leasing at Colliers International in Christchurch, is marketing 55 Lunns Rd for sale by deadline private treaty, closing at 4pm Thursday June 28.

The complex is made up of two warehouses and two offices with an area of 9156.38sq m that occupy a 2.3472ha site.

The Heavy Industrial zoned property earns net annual rent of $1,035,900 and has an New Building Standard (NBS) rating of 70 per cent.

The front warehouse with a 7.5m stud us 3727.86sq m and a lower stud front warehouse is 240.44sq m.

An office/cafeteria is 88.38sq m and the front office area is 557.08sq m.

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The complex comprises two warehouses and two offices occupying a 2.3472ha site. Photo / Supplied

The rear warehouse with a 9.5m stud covers 4346.93sq m and has offices of 196.69sq m. The front building yard totals 4272sq m and the rear building yard is 4580.30sq m.

The prime property is leased to the ASX-listed transport firm K & S Freighters on a five-year lease. Australian based K & S Corporation Limited, listed parent company of K & S Freighters Ltd, turned over $755m in revenue in 2017 and is one of the largest specialty transport firms in Australia.

Staite said the premises would appeal to astute passive investors looking for a conventional industrial asset with strong returns and security in a desirable tenant covenant. 

“With most properties being maximised, it’s rare to find such a large under-utilised holding located next to the motorway and in such close proximity to the centre city. With significant sums having been spent on this property and excellent lease terms secured, all of the hard work is done.

“The industrial investment market continues to tighten as a heavy weight of capital searches for a home and very few quality assets are offered to the market. Investors appear to be focusing a lot more on the total replacement costs of assets and are realising the established industrial market is offering great value in this respect.”

Staite says Middleton is home to a large number of the city’s transport and logistics companies, and has a mixed age of buildings, many of which were developed in the 1990s and 2000s. 

Due to the sought after central location and quality properties, the area historically has a very low vacancy level. 

“The new over-bridge that links Birmingham Drive to the highly popular industrial and residential area of Wigram has increased the accessibility of this area dramatically. Access to the main arterial routes, including the Southern Motorway, is very easy and, again, is one of the driving reasons behind the area’s popularity.”

Lunns Road is a main link road from the busy thoroughfare of Annex Rd to the Curletts Rd motorway. Blenheim Road is just around the corner. 

“Southpark industrial estate is located over the road while the very large holding of Hamilton Jet is almost directly opposite 55 Lunns Road; with Hamilton Jet having bought a new greenfields site in Hornby, we expect this to become a significant development site in the future.”  

Grant Nelson said he had been legally blind most of his life.

“In 1979 I started a business working from the garage at our home. This expanded into a business selling building materials and products to builders’ merchants and retailers throughout the country. In 1995 we had the opportunity to sell our business and we decided to do this and to take a different direction in life.

“We put the proceeds from the business sale into the trust and bought 55 Lunns Rd. Since then, we have devoted our time to the work of the trust. We now want to retire and so have decided to sell the property and distribute funds to universities and charitable organisations that we have been involved with in the past.”

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Sam Staite, Colliers International