Three big sites ease industrial shortage

10:26 AM Saturday September 27, 2014 Colin Taylor

Ready to go - a 4ha site in Popes Rd, Takanini.

A portfolio of three large greenfield sites is expected to alleviate the tight supply of industrial land for development around Auckland's urban fringes.

The three sites - two to the south of the city and one to the northwest - are in Bayleys latest Total Property magazine. They are an 8.7ha site in Waiuku, a 4ha block in Takanini and six industrial lots at Riverhead near Kumeu.

"These industrial sites are coming on to the market simultaneously, yet independent of each other," says Bayleys' national commercial and industrial director, John Church.

Church says there has been a shortage of industrial sites bigger than 5 ha that has created a challenge for developers, owner/occupiers, and prospective industrial tenants.

"They see the opportunity for growth in the wider Auckland region, but are constrained by lack of land."

He quotes Auckland Council principal adviser David Taylor, who cautioned in July that the Auckland region would begin to run out of available vacant industrial land within the next 10 years if no further new land was provided.

"To cater for the Auckland region's projected population growth and associated employment market fundamentals, new supplies of industrial business land must continue to be made available," Church says.

"But while we await word on further large-scale industrial rezoning to plug the foreseeable gaps that many have identified and expressed concern over, there are still some reasonable pockets of industrial land around - if you know where to look for them.

"We are talking to land owners across the region and there are some interesting opportunities trickling on to the market."

In Takanini, a 4.155ha rectangular development site at 22 Popes Rd, zoned industrial, is for sale by deadline private treaty closing on October 23 through Peter Migounoff of Bayleys Counties and Marty Roestenburg from Bayleys Manukau.

The land was formerly zoned rural and is part of a 53ha parcel of land that was rezoned 18 months ago. It has a four-bedroom home and shed.

Roestenburg says the vendor is retiring and is keen to sell the land, which for the past 19 years has been a home and lifestyle block.

"The vendor is one of about six landowners in the area who contributed to the plan change which has seen this land form part of the mixed-use industrial zone at the northeastern end of the well-established Spartan Rd industrial area.

"The beauty of this offering, which is sub-divisible, is that price expectations are roughly half that for other industrial land in the Auckland region which is fetching in the vicinity of $250 to $300 a square metre.

"Cost-effective industrial land gives a great platform to springboard off. Starting with a low land price then adding development costs will result in a very competitive asset in today's market."

The property has two zonings - at one end Industrial 1, which is a lighter industrial zoning reflecting its closeness to residential land, and at the other end Industrial 3, which allows for manufacturing and warehousing activities.

Migounoff says the site would be ideal for an owner/occupier planning substantial warehousing or distribution facilities.

"On the face of it, this location looks fairly raw but it is very much an emerging growth area because of roading and other infrastructural developments locally.

"It is just five minutes from the Takanini State Highway 1 north-south motorway interchange which is scheduled for a $210 million upgrade within the next three to four years.

"Takanini has long been home to Fonterra Brands New Zealand's head office and its largest processing plant. The first major industrial development in the Popes Rd area - the $60 million Gen-i/Revera Takanini data centre - is almost complete and directly opposite the land we have for sale.

"High-profile operations such as these underpin the value of the Takanini area as 'one to watch out for' as Auckland struggles to come to terms with future industrial development credentials," Migounoff says.

Church says that if the Takanini land had been in Wiri or East Tamaki, it would have "sailed out the door" the minute it was listed for sale.

"Takanini is next in the opportunity line, and visionary developers or owner/occupiers will be weighing up the cost-value proposition."

To the southwest in Waiuku, 63km from the central city, and 30km from the Drury interchange and the State Highway 1 north-south motorway, 8.74ha of industrial and industrial services-zoned land is on the market with tenders closing on October 30.

Marketed by Migounoff and Brent Worthington of Bayleys Mt Eden, the rezoned development land at 28 Cornwall Rd, Waiuku, in the Fernleigh Business Park is being pitched to owner/occupiers, developers and landbankers.

"Waiuku is going gang-busters at the moment," says Migounoff.

"Those developers and owner/occupiers who are getting priced out of more central Auckland markets are casting their net widely and finding Waiuku comes up trumps - particularly on the affordability scale.

"Industries which require large tracts of land are unable to find suitable sites in the traditional industrial areas, so emerging areas like Waiuku are finding favour.

"Bottom lines are important and while the tender process will ultimately sort out the value, we believe the per-square-metre rate will be temptingly within reach of many," Migounoff says.

The land is being sold by former farmers who also owned the adjoining block of land. They have carved off a portion for themselves, leaving the sizeable chunk of industrial-zoned land on the Auckland and Pukekohe side of Waiuku, with easy access to the southern motorway. "The Glenbrook steel mill, which remains a large employer in Franklin, is in the area which makes this industrial land ripe for service providers to support the mill and its operations," says Migounoff.

Neighbours included RD1 Rural Supplies, Holcim Concrete and Faber Glasshouses.

Northwest of Auckland, industrial land on the corner of Deacon Rd and Forestry Rd in Riverhead - formerly home to Carter Holt Harvey's timber processing operation - is being marketed by Rishi Vaswani of Bayleys North West by deadline private treaty closing on October 16.

Six lots in a subdivision that is soon to be completed remain to be sold.

Vaswani says the vendor of the land, which has been in the family for more than 30 years, has price expectations much lower than those being touted for neighbouring industrial sites and lower than the $200 to $250 a square metre that is the average for northwest Auckland.

"The sites we have on offer range in size from 2000sq m to 14,232sq m and include one of 3144sq m that has a large shed on it in which Carters used to dry timber," says Vaswani.

"These sites are 4km from the Kumeu town centre, 10km from Westgate shopping centre and 25km from the Auckland CBD, and are perhaps the best buys in Riverhead.

"When compared to other available industrial land in Auckland, the land could be viewed as undervalued.

"The potential for businesses to set up operations from these sites to support the increasing population in the greater northwest area around Riverhead, Hobsonville Point, and Whenuapai is huge."

Vaswani says "connectivity" between West Auckland and the rest of the region will improve greatly with opening of the State Highway 20 Waterview Connection - on track for completion in 2016-2017.

"With the Riverhead area becoming more accessible, it is coming on to the radars of developers and owner-occupiers. Inquiry is high and is coming from a range of sources. I am working with clients seeking light manufacturing sites, rural service providers, infrastructural contractors and distribution companies.

"They all see the value and advantages of the northwest location to base or expand their operations.

"With changes in the roading system ultimately streamlining the route from Albany through to Manukau, the logistics of moving goods will become very straightforward."