Former Fonterra site for sale at Napier
An aerial view of the huge property for sale in the Pandora industrial estate, near Napier’s port
One of Hawke’s Bay’s biggest warehousing complexes — previously Fonterra’s regional milk powder distribution centre — has been placed on the market for sale or lease.
Fonterra occupied the facility from the mid-2000s until earlier this year, when the dairy giant transferred its Hawke’s Bay warehousing activity to even larger facilities near the Port of Tauranga.
The substantial 18,431sq m complex sits on 2.69 hectares of land in Napier’s Pandora industrial estate near Napier port, with street frontages on both Pandora Rd and Tyne St. It also borders Napier’s main trunk rail line.
The now-vacant complex consists of multiple building areas encompassing:
• 17,883sq m of warehousing,
• 211sq m of ground level office space,
• an additional 175sq m of mezzanine floor office space, and
• 162sq m of covered canopy area.
The fully fenced sealed yard measures 7000sq m, with truck and staff car parking, as well as access to the multiple entry and exit roller doors on three sides of the warehouse.
Architectural plans have also been drawn up for the potential subdivision of the building into two stand-alone warehouses of 8100sq m and 8420sq m — each with their own internal office space.
Under this configuration, the buildings would be separated by a 12-metre access road fronting on to Tyne St. The two warehouse option would allow for possible occupancy by two separate tenants.
The freehold land and single-storey building are being marketed for sale by negotiation or lease by Bayleys Napier salesperson Rollo Vavasour. The freehold property is one of 68 premises owned by New Zealand Stock Exchange-listed property company Argosy.
Vavasour said the premises sat within a main industrial zoning, and would suit an owner/occupier — most likely with an existing interest in the region’s export-focused primary produce sector.
The complex offers vast areas of space within its buildings.
A Hawke’s Bay commercial property analysis compiled by Bayleys Research last year reported that the on-going strength of Hawke’s Bay’s horticulture, pip-fruit, and viticulture industries had seen a building boom for large scale cool-store and food processing plants in the region.
Bayleys Research senior analyst Goran Ujdur said with Hawke’s Bay’s primary produce sector exports up 16 per cent in the year to March 2015 compared to the same time in 2014, and the Port of Napier anticipating total container volume growth to reach 20 per cent over the coming year, building infrastructure in the sector had been “bullish”.
“The Hawke’s Bay region is a major producer, processor and exporter of primary products — such as beef, lamb, fruit and vegetables, forest products and wine,” Ujdur said.
“The strong influence of primary industry is apparent within the industrial property sector — with the region housing a high proportion of specialist buildings such as pack-houses, cold/cool stores and controlled atmospheric buildings catering for corporate and independent growers.”
Vavasour said though dairy production in the region was facing some challenges, as recognised by Fonterra’s departure, other sectors of the rural economy were firmly in growth mode.
“As a consequence, we expect the slack left by the Fonterra vacancy to be picked up by another primary sector-related exporter,” he said.
“Alternatively, the substantial warehousing capability could be utilised by a logistics or freight forwarding business. The complex benefits from being handily positioned within the city’s port zone, yet just 3km from the CBD close to a main arterial route.
It also has a 4.9m ceiling stud and multiple large vehicle entry points,” he said.
Vavasour said the 1980s-built premises had been well maintained throughout its life and was in a ‘turnkey’ state ready for a new tenancy. The air-conditioned office space was broken down into a mix of open-plan areas, managerial offices, several larger meeting rooms, a staff kitchen/lunchroom, and bathroom amenities on both levels.
“With a corporate landlord managing the property on behalf of a corporate client, the maintenance schedule of the building has been of a consistently high standard — encompassing such projects as a recent refurbishment of the roof, upgrading the office amenities, and the addition of a new external canopy,” he said.
“These attributes would prove equally attractive for any new tenant, with Argosy openly prepared to discuss the potential of relocation assistance and further office reconfiguration if required.”
The asking rent for the property is $1.17 million plus GST per annum, with outgoings paid by the tenant.
The latest Hawke’s Bay District Economic Monitor report produced by business development agency Business Hawke’s Bay shows the primary produce sector accounted for 10.7 per cent of the region’s Gross Domestic Product. Transport and storage accounted for 4.2 per cent of the Bay’s GDP.
“Since the year-end March 2013, significant positive economic growth has occurred in the Hawke’s Bay region at rates of 1.4 percent for the year ended March 2014 and 1.5 percent for the year ended March 2015,” says the Economic Monitor report.
Vavasour said those were two key potential economic sectors Bayleys and Argosy had identified as future users of the Pandora Rd site, along with companies which would be making greater use of the soon-to-be-built wharf at the Port of Napier.