The sprawling site housing an iconic food-manufacturing plant that for decades turned out some of New Zealand’s best-loved bakery products has gone up for sale.
The sale of the 3.6828-hectare property on Palmerston North’s Botanical Road, until recently home to Ernest Adams and Irvines Pies, opens the way for another manufacturer to bring a new recipe to the landmark industrial site.
Alternatively, it has been lauded for the outstanding ingredients it offers for potential redevelopment with medium-density housing.
For over 20 years, the Botanical Road facility produced baked goods for Ernest Adams, named after the New Zealand baker, businessman and philanthropist who founded the company in the 1920s.
On site for five years, Irvines baked up to 600,000 pies a week. Through the height of pie and pastry production, the plant employed more than 200 people with operations running 24 hours a day.
The original buildings were constructed in 1950 to house the offices, laboratories and pharmaceutical factory of Glaxo Laboratories. Founded in Manawatū in 1873, Glaxo went on to become an internationally recognised food and pharmaceutical producer. It occupied the Botanical Road site until the mid-1990s.
Now offered for sale with vacant possession through Bayleys, on behalf of international food giant Goodman Fielder, the freehold site with several large warehouse/manufacturing facilities, extensive yards and offices, is poised for a new chapter.
Angus Findlay of Bayleys Palmerston North said the sale represented an exciting crossroads, with investors, occupiers and developers investigating widely diverging futures for the site.
“This is a superb, proven operational manufacturing facility with cool stores, offices and gated security. A significant number of the buildings contain food-making plant, which could provide a unique opportunity for another business to move in and commence a similar operation at significant scale.
“Alternatively, the land will be keenly eyed by residential developers.
“Although it’s zoned Industrial, the property is surrounded by residential zoning and housing and Palmerston North City Council has given a positive indication that rezoning to residential would have strong support.
“The consensus is that this could be an outstanding medium-density housing redevelopment site,” Findlay said.
The freehold land and buildings at 136-142 Botanical Road, Palmerston North, are being marketed for sale through Findlay along with colleague Karl Cameron of Bayleys Palmerston North, and Bayleys national director logistics and infrastructure Scott Campbell. The property will be sold by deadline private treaty closing on Thursday 26th October, unless it is sold earlier.
Findlay said the site offered well-maintained manufacturing facilities and office accommodation across several buildings with a total floor area of over 19,000 square metres, along with an extensive secured yard, and parking for around 180 vehicles.
An on-site power substation provides two megawatts of electricity to the facility.
Cameron said the site’s convenient drive-through capability, dual access and high-profile frontage to main arterial Botanical Road, combined with its location minutes from the city centre, were of huge benefit for its current use or for future development.
“Sitting at the southwestern side of the city and surrounded by three residential suburbs – Takaro, Westbrook and Highbury – the site is within 50 metres of suburban amenities, with the city centre just minutes away,” said Cameron.
Botanical Road links various suburbs and commercial areas. It also provides multiple routes to the state highways to the north and south, enabling excellent access across the lower North Island.
Cameron said future activities at the site for sale would also be underpinned by its position within one of the country’s most thriving regional economies.
“The Manawatū is booming. Having established itself as a distribution hub for the lower North Island, Palmerston North has experienced significant industrial and residential growth over recent years.
“Looking ahead, over $4 billion is anticipated to be invested across multiple infrastructure and construction projects in the region, including a KiwiRail regional freight hub, State Highway 1 upgrades, the Manawatū Gorge rebuild, the Ohakea Defence Regeneration Plan and a major upgrade at Massey University. These projects are adding excellent job and GDP growth to the region,” said Cameron.