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Two massive Christchurch development blocks placed on the market for sale

Tags: Commercial

Two of the largest ‘greenfield’ commercial and industrial development land blocks on Christchurch’s urban fringe have been placed on the market for sale.


The two substantial sites – a 7.61-hectare block at 361 Russley Road in Avonhead adjacent to the Christchurch International Airport, and an 11.97-hectare block at 206 Shands Road in Hornby – are both zoned for commercial and industrial-related property usages.

The Russley Road site is being marketed for sale by deadline sale, with offers closing at 4pm on December 7, while the Shands Road block is being marketed for sale by deadline sale, with offers closing at 4pm on December 6. Both blocks are being marketed for sale by Greg Mann and Nick O’Styke of Bayleys Canterbury.

The Russley Road block is situated within the Special Purpose Airport Zone which allows for the building of car parking amenities, warehouse and distribution complexes, commercial services premises, or retail and hospitality operations.

The block sits in the middle of four potential access routes – facing onto Avonhead Road, Ron Guthrey Road, Syd Bradley Road and with a 400-metre-long exposure to Russley Road.

Mr Mann said that from this perspective, the block would sustain the construction of a warehousing, freight-forwarding, or distribution hub, or business activities whose core focus is the provision of aviation-or tourism related services.

He said the Special Purpose Airport Zoning of the Russley Road block was designed to underpin the ongoing operations and roles of nearby airport and aviation activities - by effectively linking the airport with the adjacent state highway roading network.

“Christchurch International Airport plays a significant role in supporting the economic and social development of not only the city, but also Greater Canterbury and indeed the South Island. This has been reflected in a more ‘pro-development’ approach to building in the precinct around the runways and terminal amenities,” Mr Mann said.

“To remain viable and to compete successfully with other major New Zealand airports, it is important that the Christchurch airport surrounds are not unduly constrained in the way land resource is utilised.

“The council’s city plan has evolved from a position of requiring all business activity in the zone to be related to airport operations, to a wider perspective that will assist the airport in maintaining an economically healthy operation and support flow-on effects in terms of benefits to the city and region.”

Meanwhile the Shands Road block is zoned ‘industrial general’ – providing a buffer between Hornby’s industrial and residential sectors and allowing for a broad range of business operations. Sitting in the heart of the suburb’s industrial side, the rectangular site fronts onto Establishment Drive and Shands Road.

Mr O’Styke said the property was close to a raft of different business premises – including bed-maker Sleepyhead, and food manufacturer Heinz Watties, along with large scale distribution hubs for both giant supermarket operators Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises.

“With such a substantial amount of land, and substantial profile on two well-travelled roads, the property offers a ‘blank canvas’ development opportunity which could sustain multiple large-scale premises,” Mr O’Styke said.

Christchurch council’s industrial general zoning for the Shands Road site allows for a broad range of building options – including warehousing and distribution, high tech’ activities, service business premises, petrol stations, yard-based locations, and retail units.

“A 2015 commercial property report identified Hornby as one of the key growth suburbs in western Christchurch as a result of the earthquake rebuild and relocation activity.

“Given the close proximity to State Highway One, the port of Lyttelton, and Christchurch Airport, there is no question that Hornby is widely recognised as one of the most strategically-located industrial and logistical hubs in Christchurch” Mr O’Styke said.

“As space demands from companies have changed over recent years, large scale design and build projects have become increasingly common – with larger tenants looking to new premises constructed in excess of the required new build standards.

“We certainly see that dynamic being in play on this site,” he said.

Mr Mann and Mr O’Styke said the sheer size of the two landholdings - underpinned by the construction development opportunities each of the blocks would independently sustain - meant potential buyers would most likely come from the corporate sector, or from international interest.

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