Modern industrial gem in East Tamaki

12:49 PM Saturday June 28, 2014 Colin Taylor

Colliers International is expecting keen interest in this East Tamaki industrial building.

A nearly new industrial facility in East Tamaki purpose built for its established tenant in 2008 and earning $360,000 net per annum on a long-term lease will go under the hammer next month.

"Properties like this in the sub $6 million price range are selling so rarely that valuers are having difficulty assessing yields," says Greg Goldfinch of Colliers International, who, with colleague Paul Higgins, is marketing it for sale by auction at Colliers' Queen St offices at 11am on Thursday, July 24.

The building with total floor area of 3349sq m on a 4706sq m freehold site at 40 Crooks Rd is featured in Colliers latest New Zealand portfolio launched today.

"In this price range we believe it is probably the best industrial property offering of the year," Goldfinch says. "High-quality, modern, investment-grade industrial premises in the $3 million to $6 million price bracket are seldom available for sale in the open market - but this is where the demand is strongest.

"This is the value range that is attractive to all buyer profiles, including private investors, family trusts, listed and non-listed property funds and syndicators. Accordingly we are expecting good interest."

Goldfinch says he expects the wider market and, in particular, valuers to take a keen interest in the sale of the property "given there have been very few sales to measure from in this price bracket and asset class".

The tenant is ISL Industrial Ltd, a privately-owned New Zealand distributor which provides more than 40 brands of high-quality tools and machinery to a nationwide network of resellers.

Higgins says the property has a solid tenant covenant with fixed annual rental growth and a bank guarantee as security on the lease. "The lease is on a new eight-year term from July 2014 with two six-year rights of renewal, potentially taking it to June 2034," he says.

Located in the heavy industrial Business 6 zone, there is dual access at the front and the rear, allowing for drive-through trucking with a sealed surface.

The building features a wide, glass front facade and landscaped entrance off Crooks Rd with ample parking. Pedestrians enter through a set of double doors that open into a large reception area adjoining an office and boardroom. A central passage gives access to further partitioned offices, a showroom, staff areas and a courtyard off the lunchroom.

Higgins says the building area includes a high-stud warehouse and factory of 2375sq m, and offices and amenities totalling about 430sq m, with a high standard fitout throughout.

"ISL made a substantial investment in the fitout, including the latest pallet racking and storage systems, allowing it to warehouse and distribute more than 30,000 product items," says Higgins.

"The warehouse has an 8m stud, clear-span construction and excellent natural lighting, with an associated office area. There are three roller doors down the eastern side of the building and a wide canopy for weather protection. In all, it's an excellent arrangement and the proportion of office to warehouse space, at 15 per cent, is another desirable feature."

The zoning is also an advantage. "Business 6-zoned land is a scarce resource in Auckland and there is very little of it available. It's the most flexible zoning for a heavy industrial user, allowing loud or noxious activities that must be positioned away from housing."

Higgins says the facility is in the prime East Tamaki industrial location, handy to labour pools and transport routes.

Crooks Rd extends out to Allens Rd, which is part of the new principal thoroughfare from the southern motorway into the East Tamaki industrial area and beyond. It is about 3km from the Highbrook southern motorway junction at Otahuhu. Te Irirangi Drive provides a direct link to the southern motorway intersection.

The area is home to well-known companies including Glen Dimplex, Hirepool, Myspecs, Bell Tea Company and Uniline.

Goldfinch says that demand for industrial property has shot up to new highs in the first quarter of 2014 and is set to continue for the remainder of the year.

"In the last quarter of 2013 the Colliers Highbrook team saw very strong sales and leasing activity, following on from several record-breaking years.

"This was topped off recently by a fifth consecutive win of the annual RICS Industrial Team of the Year award from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and we're on track for another very strong year, having sold about $75 million worth of property, and leased nearly 74,000sq m of space in the first few months of 2014.

"Even though there have been a couple of small increases in interest rates, it seems to have had little or no effect on the market.

"This is reflected in owner occupiers returning to the market, higher closing rates at auctions and continued compression of yields. Auctions are running hot, with a closing ratio of about 75 to 80 per cent compared to the more typical 60 to 65 per cent over the past two years.

"We are seeing very competitive bidding from investors but also owner-occupiers looking for new premises for their business. This is a reflection of how businesses are feeling broadly about their future prospects which bodes well.

"They are coming in to the auction rooms determined to buy, and prospective buyers who are outbid one week are soon back trying to purchase another property. Vendors are obtaining very strong prices, and yields continue to firm, especially for well-tenanted investments," Goldfinch says.

"With the combination of being a near new industrial building, excellent tenant covenant, long lease tenure and great location, this property will fit the bill perfectly for any number of investors," Higgins says.