A dire shortage of developable industrial land in the wider Wellington region, coupled with unrelentingly low vacancy rates across the sought-after established industrial precincts, underpins the value proposition of a Lower Hutt property with scale that has come to the market.
Almost 8,000 square metres of General Business-zoned land with supporting buildings – suitable for a significant upgrade or complete redevelopment – is for sale in the city’s most-contested precinct of Seaview/Gracefield.
Currently occupied by Charta Packaging, who will be vacating the site later this year, the land and buildings at 20-30 Bell Road South on the corner of Gracefield Road on the north-western periphery of Gracefield will be sold by tender closing 4pm Wednesday 11th August.
Ethan Hourigan and Richard Faisandier of Bayleys Wellington Commercial are marketing the property which they believe will open the door to owner-occupiers or developers looking for a well-located chunk of industrial land in an area where options are extremely thin on the ground.
“Assessments put the property at 20 percent of new building standard, so there’s clearly some structural strengthening work required to bring the existing buildings up to current seismic thresholds,” said Hourigan.
“An add-value investor would recognise the inherent potential that structurally-upgraded buildings in this location, with this sort of scale, would represent in a leasing market that is perpetually throttled for opportunity around Gracefield.
“Developers will also clock the intrinsic underlying value of almost 8,000 square metres smack bang in the middle of an industrial precinct that is favoured by big name firms such as Cable Price, Masterpet, Callaghan Innovation, and Canterbury Spinners.”
Whether the buildings are upgraded and repurposed or demolished to make way for a blank slate redevelopment with the zoning supporting buildings up to 12-metres high, Faisandier said the location speaks volumes and many potential scenarios would make sense in the current market.
“Some buyers may also see value in subdividing the freehold site, as multi-units could co-exist with ease given the good access off Gracefield Road and the capacity for the site to offer a really workable footprint,” he said.
“Alternatively, if the existing buildings were strengthened and upgraded, there’s potential for net income of around $436,000 per annum plus GST and outgoings.”
The 5,520-square metre building area currently comprises a warehouse/factory of 4,940 square metres, 280 square metres of office and amenities, and an additional 300-square metre mezzanine level. In addition, there is almost 1,500 square metres of secure yard space.
The established warehouse building was constructed in the 1950s. It is a mainly-single storey structure spread over three bays with medium stud heights with concrete floor and foundations, steel portal framing, concrete columns and beams and reinforced concrete walls.
The additional mezzanine floor adds storage and supplementary office area, while four roller doors on the western side of the building provide access to the factory area.
Charta Packaging, now part of global Visy Group, has occupied the Bell Road site for more 30 years and will vacate in September this year with the move to an Auckland production base.
The Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce recently claimed that the lack of industrial land in Lower Hutt could act as a handbrake for economic development in the region, with many manufacturing and innovation businesses struggling to find premises that could cater to growing domestic and export demands.