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Scarcity of Christchurch industrial space fuels demand


Christchurch industrial vacancy levels have plummeted as national and international companies vie for the more affordable options the city has to offer than its northern counterparts.

Sam Staite, director of industrial leasing and sales at Colliers, says demand continues to grow for logistics space, in particular.

“Auckland industrial prime rental rates can be more than 50% higher than those in Christchurch and occupiers with high freight volumes are reaping the benefits of affordable transport backfill rates when distributing product from Christchurch to the north. E-commerce is further driving that need.

“For instance, Fisher and Paykel’s South Island distribution centre has almost doubled its footprint in Christchurch and Packaging House has also significantly expanded.”

Staite says there has also been a huge increase in land sales over the past year with values climbing substantially.

Against this backdrop, he expects widespread interest in a large warehouse at 35 Hickory Place in Hornby, Christchurch, for sale by deadline private treaty, closing March 18.

Home to Office Max for the past 14 years, the state of the art 7,814 sqm facility is situated in one of the most tightly held and sought after industrial locations in the city.

OfficeMax has outgrown this facility and, as such, Staite is selling or leasing the building on behalf of Calder Stewart with vacant possession.

The building is of conventional design, featuring a nine metre high stud warehouse with large canopy, expansive yard and both open and covered car parking areas.

Staite said the under-utilised 16,715 sqm site provides surplus land ideal for future expansion.

“This location is already one of the most sought after and evolving commercial/industrial areas in Christchurch with huge growth forecast over the next five years. Hornby has been greatly gentrified over the past decade with a lot of refurbishment and repurposing of older facilities.”

New development in the area has also been significant with the build-up of Calder Stewart’s Hornby Quadrant development, which is now into its fourth stage, as well as the sell-down and development of the well-established Waterloo Business Park.

“This is without doubt the location in most demand for national and international businesses. It’s so close to the region’s major distribution centres such as Foodstuffs South Island and Woolworths NZ, has excellent roading networks and an ever-growing residential population.”

Staite said the roading improvements and developments taking place in this area are a big driver for industrial demand. The upgrade of Halswell Junction Road has greatly improved the flow of traffic and the new Southern Motorway Stage 2 is a game changer for traffic heading to and from Rolleston and beyond.

Calder Stewart development manager – operations Ben Murphy said they were currently experiencing incredible demand.

“The new build market in Christchurch is really positive with buildings continuing to get bigger and bigger. Our order book going forward is growing rapidly and take-up in our Hornby Quadrant and Rolleston developments is filling quickly.

“Christchurch is a very affordable logistics and manufacturing option compared to other centres and it feels that the market is really catching on to this. Warehousing is cheaper, distribution is more efficient, labour is readily available, living costs are attractive and the outdoor lifestyle here is increasingly highly-sought. All in all, we are very bullish on the region as a whole.”

Colliers commercial property brokerage team is the most dominant commercial real estate agency in the South Island. Take advantage of current market conditions and talk to a commercial real estate agent in Christchurch.

Scarcity of Christchurch industrial space fuels demand

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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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