Big plans for Foodstuffs’ former South Island hub

10:10 AM Friday October 3, 2014 Colin Taylor

Artist’s impression of new warehouse, distribution and office complex at 2 Lydia St, Papanui.

Foodstuffs’ former South Island distribution hub, one of the largest warehouse buildings in Christchurch, is set to become an impressive new warehouse and distribution complex with structural upgrades and architectural offices to be added by the new owners.

The former Christchurch dry goods distribution hub for supermarket giant Foodstuffs includes an impressive 17,200 square metre warehouse with 2300 square metre canopy located on 31,000 square metres of land at 2 Lydia St in the Christchurch city-fringe suburb of Papanui.

The property was sold by Foodstuffs earlier this year after it outgrew the current site and moved to a considerably larger facility in Christchurch and was purchased by a privately-owned Christchurch property investment group which owns other existing large-scale commercial, industrial and retail property holdings in the city.

Stewart White of Bayleys Canterbury says the Papanui warehouse complex has excellent connections to the main arterial routes across Christchurch and large span portal frames of 21 metres and a stud height of eight metres, which made the premises ideal as Foodstuffs’ dry goods warehousing centre for the entire upper and central South Island.

White says that, following the sale the property, structural strengthening plans have been completed to bring the warehouse up to 100 per cent of the latest building codes. “Architectural plans have also been prepared to subdivide the existing single warehouse into five separate smaller warehouses – ranging in size from 1640 square metres to 7560 square metres,” says White who is marketing the five warehouse units for lease.

Each of the resulting new warehouses will have its own secure access, yard area, loadings bays, and the option of ground and first floor offices of flexible size and configuration. Construction of the structural works is planned to begin later this month immediately after Foodstuffs has relocated from the premises, with the new warehouses being ready for occupation from early 2015. 

White says that, as a rebuild and refurbishment location, floor space at the Papanui warehousing complex would be considerably cheaper per square metre than most new-build destinations where land prices and construction rates are pushing rents to record levels.

The building has a floor loading capacity of up to 4.5 tonnes per square metre, precast concrete walls to 4 metres with braced steel girts and metal cladding above, and long run metal roofing. The land currently has a Business 4 zoning suitable for warehousing, distribution, freight, storage or other industrial activities.

True Commercial - 2 Lydia St, Papanui, Christchurch - elevated view.jpg

Elevated view of current former Foodstuffs’ South Island distribution hub at 2 Lydia St, Papanui.

“New tenants have the option of retaining and utilising Foodstuffs’ existing pallet and box racking infrastructure - including five-pallet-high racking and in-rack sprinklers - within their refurbished premises – offering a considerable saving on set-up costs.

“We envisage likely tenants will be small to medium size freight or logistics orientated businesses, or light manufacturing or industrial companies,” White says. “Alternatively, the entire property could be leased on very favorable terms to a single tenant and would make an excellent base for a larger operator, or a company wanting staged take up or future expansion space.

“All five units will have access to a substantial sealed yard immediately in front of their roller doors, with a significant adjoining grassed area that can be converted into additional vehicle parking if required.

White says, that over the past three years, much of Christchurch’s rebuilt warehousing stock has relocated further out from the city centre to the likes of Wigram, Hornby and Izone in Rolleston where land is more abundant. “The former Foodstuffs hub is certainly the biggest property of its type this close to the periphery of the Christchurch central business district,” he says.