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Investors drive in as vehicle testing giant’s premises go up for sale

Tags: Commercial

The freehold land and buildings housing a major regional outlet for New Zealand’s largest vehicle and driver licence testing business have been placed on the market for sale.


The property for sale at 701 Orchard Road, in Hastings’ Omahu industrial area, is fully leased to Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ).

Established in 1994 as a state-owned enterprise and later privatised, the VTNZ business is majority owned by one of the world’s leading inspection organisations, the German-based DEKRA group.

VTNZ has occupied the Orchard Road premises since the mid-1990s, generating current net rental income of $126,000 plus outgoings and GST per annum. Its lease runs through to 2023, with two further three-year rights of renewal, and incorporates market rent reviews in 2023, 2025 and 2027.

The company carries out more than 1.5 million car and truck assessments nationally each year and over 200,000 practical driver tests – more than any other New Zealand business. Some 30,000 Kiwi firms of all sizes use its vehicle assessment services, advice and support.

In 2013, a 60 percent shareholding in VTNZ was purchased by DEKRA, a near century-old firm which lays claim to being the world’s third-largest certification and inspection company. The DEKRA group generated revenue of €3.34 billion ($5.5 billion) in 2018 and employs 45,000 people globally.

The freehold property at 701 Orchard Road, Hastings, is now being marketed for sale by deadline private treaty closing on 24 March (unless sold prior), through Bayleys Havelock North.

Salespeople Daniel Moffitt and Jake Smith said the premises consisted of a single-level building of approximately 1,170 square metres on a flat, rectangular site of some 3,321 square metres.

“The building structure incorporates high-stud, clear-span industrial warehousing used for VTNZ testing, along with adjacent office and reception areas,” said Mr Moffitt.

“The structure has an Initial Evaluation Procedure seismic rating of 75 percent of new building standard. It is accessed via two front and three rear roller doors, and is surrounded by expansive concrete hard standings which allow easy movement of cars, trucks and trailers around the site, and plenty of parking.”

Mr Moffitt said the site was zoned General Industrial under Hastings District Council’s district plan.

“This allows for a wide variety of industrial activities such as manufacturing, processing, packing and storage and the servicing and repair of goods and vehicles. Industrial uses in the surrounding precinct represent a mix of scale and are of mixed vintage,” he said.

Mr Smith said the Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital was of particular significance to the area. “This major regional health facility is located in close proximity and encourages the positioning of medical services in surrounding locations,” he said.

“The Omahu location is fully developed and there are a number of larger sites and national tenants in the precinct. This includes a number of other automotive businesses and BP, Gull and Caltex service stations.”

Mr Smith said the Orchard Road property was located some three kilometres west of Hastings city centre, and lay at the south-eastern end of the highly sought-after Omahu Road industrial precinct.

“This locality is home to industrial uses to the eastern side of the road and the Camberley residential suburb to the west. It has easy and direct access to major transport routes including the Napier-Hastings Expressway,” Mr Smith said.

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