Massey University puts huge campus up for sale

5:00 AM Saturday March 14, 2015 Colin Taylor

Aerial view of the 10 hectare Massey University Hokowhitu campus and buildings which are for sale in Palmerston North.

Massey University is selling its huge 10 hectare Hokowhitu campus in Palmerston North encompassing 20 buildings that include a range of education blocks, halls, administration offices, library, and sporting amenities.

“Hokowhitu campus is a small village with social amenities and commercial premises,” says David Bayley, director of Bayleys Real Estate and a member of the agency’s international marketing team.

Bayley is marketing the portfolio of land and buildings through an international tender process, closing on May 14.

He says the sheer size and diversity of the Hokowhitu campus, which is featured in Bayleys’ latest Total Property magazine, lends itself towards an integrated commercial development with possible residential options.

“All of the building on the campus could be refurbished or added to relatively easily under current land zoning regulations, subject to council consent,” Bayley says - adding that the sale site encompasses a well-established road and footpath network connecting all the buildings.

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One of the buildings included in the sale of Massey University’s Hokowhitu campus.

“The Hokowhitu Campus offers the entrepreneurial investor an outstanding opportunity to purchase a substantial property holding with a large rental income. Most of the land is currently used as sports fields but it has significant potential for redevelopment,” he says.

Combined, the Hokowhitu commercial leases will generate about $1.8 million a year in rent. Lease terms within the various buildings range from month-to-month tenancies, through to longer-term tenancies, with rights of renewal out to 2031.

The campus is located in one of the city’s most popular and attractive suburbs. It is bounded by the Manawatu River, the Hokowhitu Lagoon and the Manawatu Golf Course.

Buildings contain a total of 30,000 sq m of space, alongside 486 sealed car parks.

Hokowhitu is one of two campuses Massey University operates in the city. Massey began merging its Hokowhitu and Turitea sites in 2008 and relocated the staff and students of the former College of Education to Turitea in 2012.

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View of Tower Block on Massey University’s Hokowhitu campus. in Palmerston North.

The 20 main buildings on the Hokowhitu campus were constructed between the early 1960s to late 1980s and are currently occupied by a mix of tenants, including the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education, Otis Elevator Company, the Palmerston North Operatic Society, Vodafone and education provider Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Several New Zealand Defence Force units have moved into the campus area since 2011 including Headquarters New Zealand Defence College, and Headquarters Land Operations Training Centre.

Massey University currently occupies some 5500 square metres of buildings and Bayley says the university has indicated that it would be interested in remaining in occupation of a significant amount of space under leases to be agreed at market terms following a sale.

“The sale of this expansive property is part of a wider initiative by Massey to consolidate its activities at Turitea,” Bayley says. 

David Bayley of Bayleys - cropped.jpg (1)

David Bayley director of Bayleys Real Estate.