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Buyers set to harness investment in horse racing head office premises up for sale

The land and buildings housing the head office of Harness Racing New Zealand and an international corporate software provider have been placed on the market for sale.

The two-storey office building on a freehold site at 17 Birmingham Drive in the Christchurch suburb of Middleton is a few hundred metres from Addington Raceway. It is fully leased to harness racing’s administrative body, and software firm Diligent Board Member Services.

Some 883 square metres on the first floor is leased to Harness Racing New Zealand – which oversees a sport involving 265 race meetings held by 47 harness clubs at 38 venues each season. More than 3,000 standardbred horses in New Zealand race for some $28 million in prize money each year.

The location of the sport’s headquarters in Christchurch reflects Canterbury’s status as a national harness-racing stronghold. With venues headed by the famed raceway at Addington – home to feature races including the New Zealand Cup and Dominion Handicap – the region hosts nearly a third of all New Zealand harness racing meetings.

The Birmingham Drive property generates annual net rental income of $397,800 plus outgoings and GST per annum. Harness Racing New Zealand pays annual rent of $170,000 plus outgoings and GST for its office space and 15 car parks on a lease running through to 2024, with two further five-year rights of renewal.

Approximately 864 square metres on the ground floor is leased to Diligent Board Member Services, which provides corporate governance software to help board directors of organisations to collaborate on information for meetings.

The company says its flagship product, Diligent Boards, is the most widely-used board portal in the world – relied on by more than 650,000 board directors in 16,000 corporations, government agencies and not-for-profit groups.

Diligent Board Member Services’ lease – which also includes 15 dedicated car parks and further tandem-use parks – generates annual rental income of $227,800 plus outgoings and GST per annum on a lease running through to 2021.

The Birmingham Drive property is now being marketed for sale by Bayleys Canterbury. Salespeople Stewart White and Alex White said the premises consisted of a building with a total floor area of approximately 1,900 square metres on some 2,520 square metres of freehold land.

“The building was constructed 20 years ago with precast concrete walls and a steel roof, sitting on concrete foundations and ground-floor slab,” said Stewart White.

“It features a canopy at the main entrance and a full-height entrance foyer at the north side of the building, which is bordered by the main stairs and a lift. There is an additional stairwell on the south side of the building.”

The building has recently been renovated and strengthened, giving it an Initial Evaluation Procedure rating of 67 percent of new building standards. It is zoned Industrial Heavy under Christchurch’s district plan – in an area characterised by a wide range of industry and warehousing. In most locations, the zone is buffered from residential areas by the General Industrial zone.

Alex White said the Birmingham Drive property was located among other quality buildings and businesses – including the new offices built next-door to house the New Zealand base of international global-positioning-systems tech’ giant Trimble.

The west side of the premises border the open space of Marylands Reserve.

“Located four kilometres south west of Christchurch’s central business district, this is a high-quality service and commercial area which has always been in demand with tenants who don’t require a city presence,” Mr White said.

“Birmingham Drive offers a strategic location, forming part of an important transport link beginning at the intersection with Wrights Road, linking through to Annex Road and, in turn, Blenheim Road.

“Recently-completed new roading connects Birmingham Road with Wrights Road and provides convenient access to the new Southern Motorway,” Mr White said.

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