Two big Christchurch land blocks

3:29 PM Friday November 10, 2017 True Commercial

The block at 361 Russley Rd, Avonhead – identified by a red border – is adjacent to Christchurch Airport. Photo / Supplied

Two of the largest ‘greenfield’ commercial and industrial development land blocks on Christchurch’s urban fringe have been put on the market.

The 7.61ha block at 361 Russley Rd in Avonhead, adjacent to the Christchurch International Airport; and an 11.97ha block at 206 Shands Rd in Hornby, are both zoned for commercial and industrial-related property usages.

The Russley Rd block has a deadline for offers closing on December 7; and the deadline for offers on the Shands Rd block closes on December 6.

Both blocks are being marketed for sale by Greg Mann and Nick O’Styke of Bayleys Canterbury and feature in Bayleys’ latest Total Property portfolio magazine.

The Russley Rd block is situated within the Special Purpose Airport Zone which allows for the building of car parking amenities, warehouse and distribution complexes, commercial services premises, or retail and hospitality operations. The block sits in the middle of four potential access routes — facing onto Avonhead Rd, Ron Guthrey Rd, Syd Bradley Rd and Russley Rd to which it has a 400m exposure.

Mann says that from this perspective, the block would sustain the construction of a warehousing, freight-forwarding, or distribution hub, or business activities with a core focus of providing aviation or tourism related services.

He says the Special Purpose Airport Zoning of the Russley Rd block was designed to underpin the ongoing operations and roles of nearby airport and aviation activities - by effectively linking the airport with the adjacent state highway roading network.

“Christchurch International Airport plays a significant role in supporting the economic and social development of, not only the city, but also Greater Canterbury and indeed, the South Island. This has been reflected in a more ‘pro-development’ approach to building in the precinct around the runways and terminal amenities,” Mann says.

True Commercial - 206 Shands Rd%2c Hornby - red bordered.jpg

A red border indicates the block at 206 Shands Rd, Hornby. Photo / Supplied

“To remain viable and to compete successfully with other major New Zealand airports, it is important that the Christchurch airport surrounds are not unduly constrained in the way land resource is utilised.

“The council’s city plan has evolved from a position of requiring all business activity in the zone to be related to airport operations, to a wider perspective that will assist the airport in maintaining an economically healthy operation and support flow-on effects in terms of benefits to the city and region.”

The Shands Rd block is zoned Industrial General — providing a buffer between Hornby’s industrial and residential sectors and allowing for a broad range of business operations. Sitting in the heart of the suburb’s industrial side, the rectangular site fronts onto Establishment Drive and Shands Rd.

O’Styke says the property is close to a raft of different business premises, including bed-maker Sleepyhead, food manufacturer Heinz Watties, and the large scale distribution hubs for giant supermarket operators, Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises.

“With such a substantial amount of land, and high profile on two well-travelled roads, the property offers a ‘blank canvas’ development opportunity which could sustain multiple large-scale premises,” O’Styke says.

Christchurch Council’s Industrial General zoning for the Shands Rd site allows for a broad range of building options, including warehousing and distribution, high-tech activities, service business premises, petrol stations, yard-based locations, and retail units.

“A 2015 commercial property report identified Hornby as one of the key growth suburbs in western Christchurch as a result of the earthquake rebuild and relocation activity. Close to SH1, having quick access to Port Lyttelton and Christchurch Airport, Hornby is widely recognised as one of the most strategically-located industrial and logistical hubs in Christchurch,” O’Styke says.

“As space demands from companies have changed over recent years, large scale design and build projects have become increasingly common — with larger tenants looking to new premises constructed in excess of the required new build standards. We certainly see that dynamic being in play on this site,” he says

Mann and Mr O’Styke say the sheer size of the landholdings — underpinned by the construction development opportunities each of the blocks would independently sustain — means potential buyers will most likely come from the corporate sector, or from international interest.