Big lots in Christchurch business park

6:28 PM Monday February 27, 2017 Paul Charman

A drone image of part of Waterloo Business Park with Fliway’s building below and the four lots for sale in the far background. Photo / Supplied

When it comes to choosing real estate, businesses have plenty to consider.

Cost is an obvious consideration as is location, ease of access, visibility, scope for design and build, as well as the make-up and appeal of the surrounding community.

Though Christchurch commercial and industrial real estate options have grown in recent years, properties ticking all these boxes have been harder to come by.

Graeme Donaldson, principal at MB Cook commercial and industrial real estate agency, says the best option is often for clients to secure land that offers them the chance to build fresh.

“Companies make compromises when they have to use an existing building.

"Waterloo Business Park gives clients the opportunity to buy land and undertake the development themselves.

"The result is greater freedom of choice and a more efficient outcome because they can create a building exactly as they want it.”

The four freehold lots just released at Waterloo Business Park have the unusual advantage of “having it all”, Donaldson says.

Lot 11 is about 1.6ha (16,022sq m); Lot 12 is nearly 1ha (9987sq m); Lot 20 is 9125sq m; and Lot 21 is 1.26ha (12,600sq m) Donaldson says the lots are positioned at the Pound Rd entrance to the master-planned development and each lot offers size and scope to design and build; along with high visibility for potential customers and excellent road access.

It’s the question of access that Donaldson believes will be the key selling point for these lots.

“We are finding a lot of people are moving out towards the southwestern side of Christchurch.

"Much of that has been brought about by the extension of the Southern motorway and the ease of getting out there.

"Upon completion of the Halswell Junction Rd extension, Waterloo Business Park will offer excellent access to the port, city and airport - a drawcard for occupiers coming from the places like congested Auckland and for local businesses.”

The New Zealand Transport Agency is currently re-developing the road connections around the park, with completion due by end of 2017, Donaldson says.

“The diverse nature and high quality of the Waterloo development is an attraction for potential occupiers.

"Started in 2013 in Hornby and comprising 114 hectares the development was conceived of as a place that offers genuine work-life balance.”

Waterloo Development Manager Hamish Clarke says the park was inspired by best practice examples around New Zealand and the world.

True Commercial - Waterloo Business Park, Christchurch - 4 lots identified by red boundaries.png

The four lots for sale fronting Pound Rd are identified by red borders in this drone image. Photo / Supplied

“The vision of the directors was to create a true business park that’s both commercial and industrial. It’s a well-landscaped, attractive environment supported by a host of amenities.

"Eventually we’ll have significant food and beverage, and convenience retail offerings on-site too, so there’ll be added convenience for workers as well as places for business people to take their clients.

“The whole idea is to create value for our occupiers that flows back into their own businesses.

"The proof is in the uptake and Waterloo Business Park has demonstrated its desirability since its initial launch in the market four years ago. We’ve enjoyed strong sales,” Clarke says.

“I think part of that is due to our willingness to work with developers and occupiers to meet their needs. We can subdivide lots, we’re flexible and we find ways to meet the requirements of our clientele.”

He expects the just released Lots 11,12, 20 and 21 to attract strong demand.

“They really stack up in business terms for clients who need flexibility, visibility and easy access to transport networks”, says Donaldson.

He says some big operators have led the way to the southwest, which has resulted in smaller units and operators following along as well.

“Halswell Junction Rd is ultimately going to run right through Pound Rd, so it will become a ring road around Waterloo Business Park giving quick access to the port, the city and airport.

“There is such a wide range of businesses and industries already within the Park — it’s a very diverse community.

“I foresee much demand for these lots; they’re good sites with good high-profile positions.”