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Swiss industrialist sells off last of his Canterbury interests

Tags: Christchurch Commercial

Swiss industrialist, Thomas Trachsel - once heavily involved with the Canterbury region for more than four decades - is selling off the last piece of his former New Zealand commercial interests.

Thomas Trachsel previously owned ASCO – a gas supply and engineering firm in Christchurch which he sold off in the early 2000s. Although Mr Trachsel never lived in New Zealand, he often visited Christchurch to review his business holdings - which he owned for some 40 years.

Now Mr Trachsel is selling off his last remaining New Zealand asset – a substantial 1.25 hectare commercial property block in Hornby. The property sits within the Hornby industrial precinct - close to the new bulk retail development comprising Mitre 10 Mega, Countdown, Dressmart, The Warehouse, Briscoes and The Hub mall.

The Canterbury Street block is zoned for commercial retail use under Christchurch City Council’s Proposed District Plan. One side of the property consists of single level administration offices, while the middle of the property houses a high-stud heavy industry factory.

The two tenancies within the property currently generate an attractive income and are made up of: Engineering firm Holmes Solutions Ltd, which is on a three year lease expiring in 2018 with two further three-year rights of renewal and gas services company Air Liquide Limited which is on a 10 year lease expiring in 2018.

Both companies occupy separate administration offices as well as their factory space – which combined make up 5058 square metres of building.

The land and buildings in Canterbury Street are being marketed for sale by Bayleys Canterbury salespeople Stewart White and Chris Frank through a negotiation process running through until April 14.

“With considerable holding income from the two existing tenancies for the next three years at least, this timeframe will enable any prospective new owner to take a long-term planning approach to all development options,” Mr White said.

Canterbury Street, Hornby

“The city is now well-served by ample commercial options – both new-build and existing – so it’s unlikely that would be a redevelopment option. It’s more likely to be someone spotting a gap in the property market and leveraging off the size and scale this site offers.

“Alternatively, both Homes Solutions and Air Liquide, as heavy engineering companies may choose to stay on in the current premises which suit their operational needs. With few other blocks on adjacent Main South Road suitable for larger scale commercial development, a longer term holding of this site with solid tenants in place would simply increase its capital value.”

Mr Frank said the potential rezoning from light industry to retail use could see the site reconfigured into a bulk retail destination or expanded into a warehousing facility to service the immediate retail precinct.

“Even before the earthquakes, Hornby’s retail footprint was growing – capitalising on its position in close proximity to State Highway One, which in turn underpinned the growing population in West Christchurch and the Selwyn district,” Mr Frank said.

“Since the earthquakes, traffic flows have increased substantially along this corridor - with more housing evolving to the west of the city, which in turn supported the growth of more shops to service the rising population.”

For further information on the sale of 7 Canterbury Street, contact Bayleys Canterbury salespeople Stewart White on 027 478 8944 or Chris Frank on 027 280 6449.


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