The 8.237-hectare landholding is complete with plans for what could be one of the region’s biggest cool store processing and packing plants.
Located in the Hasting’s precinct of Longlands – which sits within the bigger Irongate industrial hub emerging south-west of the city in a location which has been specially planned by Hastings District Council.
Several years ago, the council lowered its development contributions charges for developers looking to buy and build in the area in a move designed to make Longlands and Irongate more attractive to new businesses – particularly in the cold storage, logistics, processing, timber processing warehousing and distribution sectors.
Meanwhile, improvements to the zone’s roading infrastructure over the past few years to support this growth have included the rebuilding of Irongate Road West, and the installation of a roundabout at the Maraekakaho Road and Irongate Road intersection.
In another pro-business move, the council also appointed a manager specifically to streamline service delivery to entities being established in the Longlands/Irongate locale.
Sunfruit Group was one of the first horticultural-focused companies to move into the area when it built a substantial 12,000-square metre packhouse and cool store operation in the zone to enable the company’s expansion of pip fruit exports.
Meanwhile, Rockit Apple is developing its new large cool store and packhouse facility on an 8.5-hectare property on Irongate Road East.
And in 2019 a 6.3-hectare greenfield property, at 22 Irongate Road was purchased by a Hawke’s Bay pip fruit orchard operator to house its new $30m packhouse facility.
Now the freehold land at 73 Irongate Road in Longlands is being marketed for sale by deadline private treaty through Bayleys Napier, with offers closing on May 11. Salesperson Rollo Vavasour said the property was being sold with detailed design plans for a large-scale horticultural processing operation – which any new owner could choose to continue with, or take in another direction.
The plans drafted by Hawke’s Bay consultant engineering firm Strata Group outline the potential for an array of vast warehousing premises – encompassing a packhouse, dry store, cool store, storage warehouse, and administrative offices, in addition to car parking for more than 100 vehicles.
Vavasour said the Irongate industrial precinct was continuing to experience rapid growth off the back of an already strong base - with significant construction projects by national and regional corporate entities on the drawing board or about to commence, including modern high-stud industrial premises for Lattey Group, Motus Hydraulics and BBI Wood Products.
“Development land of this scale is at a premium, and is in strong demand – particularly since March 2020,” Vavasour said.
“The industrial property sector has been an incredibly strong performer in the commercial market through COVID-19 compared to the other asset classes such as retail or commercial office locations, and there are few signs of this trend abating in the near future.”
A report prepared for Napier City and Hastings District councils by three property and economic analysis firms in 2020 identified a positive long-term growth path for the Longlands/Irongate suburb.
“Irongate has seen significant uptake of land since the re-zoning, and once all the land has been developed out it will represent a new centre for large footprint industrial activities in the region,” said the report which was compiled jointly by Economic Solutions Ltd, Logan Stone Ltd, and Mitchell Daysh Ltd.
“Since the wider area of land has been zoned industrial, there has been significant demand and uptake for large scale post-harvest facilities and other industrial activities, including those associated with the construction sector. Demand for post-harvest facilities is strong across the region and expected to remain strong in the next five years.”
“There has also been demand for land from industries such as packaging manufacture, logistics and distribution which support the post-harvest facilities. This demand is expected to increase as the land is developed and those large facilities become operational.
“Large capital investment in buildings and plant will secure the long-term future of Irongate as a key location in the region for post-harvest facilities in particular,” the report concluded.
Vavasour said the Irongate Road site being marketed for sale exceeded the minimum subdivision size requirement of 5,000-square metres.
“This compares to other General Industrial Zones - such as Omahu - where the minimum site size is 1,000-square metres for front sites and 2,000-square metres for rear sites,” he said.
“It is important in providing for future industrial development in the Napier/Hastings area that there is a land supply capable of accommodating a variety of industrial requirements including sites of larger sizes.”
The Longlands/Irongate precinct is served by two key transportation routes servicing the area – the State Highway Two expressway, and the regional arterial route of Maraekakaho Road.