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Millions from industrial property sale will go to charity

55 Lunns Road, Middleton

Christchurch philanthropists to sell their last property


MChristchurch philanthropic couple Marilyn and Grant Nelson are selling the last property owned by their charitable trust, The Gama Foundation.

This time they are selling a large industrial complex, in sought-after Middleton in southwest Christchurch, which is expected to fetch more than $12 million.

Located at 55 Lunns Road, the prime property is leased to the Australian Stock Exchange listed and well-known transport firm K & S Freighters on a new five-year lease.

Australian based K & S Corporation Limited, listed parent company of K & S Freighters Ltd, turned over $755m in revenue in 2017 and is one of the largest specialty transport firms in Australia.

The property is for sale by deadline private treaty, closing at 4pm today (Thursday 28 June).

Grant Nelson says The Gama Foundation would give away most of the proceeds of the sale to help fund university research.

“I have been legally blind most of my life and in 1979 I started a business working from the garage at our home. This expanded into a business selling building materials and products to builders’ merchants and retailers throughout the country.

“In 1995 we had the opportunity to sell our business and we decided to do this and to take a different direction in life. We put the proceeds from the business sale into the trust and bought 55 Lunns Road.

“Since then, we have devoted our time to the work of the trust. We now want to retire and so have decided to sell the property and distribute funds to universities and charitable organisations that we have been involved with in the past.”

The Nelsons were awarded Queen’s Service Medals in 2011 for their good works and in 2015 gave $22.1m to their causes from the sale of another industrial property in Blenheim Road.

Sam Staite, Director of Industrial Sales and Leasing at Colliers International in Christchurch, says the premises would appeal to astute passive investors looking for a conventional industrial asset with strong returns and security in a desirable tenant covenant.

“With most properties being maximised, it’s rare to find such a large under-utilised holding located next to the motorway and in such close proximity to the centre city.

“With significant sums having been spent on this property and excellent lease terms secured, all of the hard work is done.

“The industrial investment market continues to tighten as a heavy weight of capital searches for a home and very few quality assets are offered to the market.

“Investors appear to be focusing a lot more on the total replacement costs of assets and are realising the established industrial market is offering great value in this respect.”

The 9,156.38sq m of buildings sits on 2.3472ha and has net annual rental of $1,035,900. Zoned Industrial Heavy, it has an NBS rating of 70 per cent. The complex is made up of two warehouses and two offices.

Home to a large number of the city’s transport and logistics companies, Middleton has a mixed age of buildings, many of which were developed in the 1990s and 2000s.

Staite says that due to the sought-after central location and quality properties, the area historically has a very low vacancy level.

“The new over-bridge that links Birmingham Drive to the highly popular industrial and residential area of Wigram has increased the accessibility of this area dramatically.

“Access to the main arterial routes, including the Southern Motorway, is very easy and, again, is one of the driving reasons behind the area’s popularity.”

Lunns Road is a main link road from the busy thoroughfare of Annex Road to the Curletts Road motorway; Blenheim Road is just around the corner.

“Southpark industrial estate is located over the road while the very large holding of Hamilton Jet is almost directly opposite 55 Lunns Road; with Hamilton Jet having bought a new greenfields site in Hornby, we expect this to become a significant development site in the future.”

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Sam Staite

Director of Industrial

Christchurch (Agency)

Sam is one of New Zealand’s top performing brokers and has consistently been No. 1 in the South Island. Sam leads a team of eight successful and highly experienced agents who each have strong market share in their respective niche markets. He has negotiated the majority of the South Island’s largest industrial transactions during the past 13 years and in the past six years alone has delivered in excess of $830 million in sales.

Sam works closely with his colleagues across the AU/NZ Colliers network to ensure the Christchurch commercial market and his clients are widely connected. He works with corporate and private clients who benefit from his in-depth knowledge of the industrial sector, his proactive approach and strong business networks.

Recent highlights include the South Island’s largest industrial sale – the $53.75m transaction of 13 buildings known as Castle Rock Industrial Park, the $39m sale of Goodman’s Glassworks Industrial Park as well as countless sale and leasebacks for entities such as Turners and Growers, Online Distribution and BOC Gas.

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