A housing development, rest home or childcare facility or a boutique retail hub are among future possibilities mooted for a large fruit-handling site for sale on Havelock North’s suburban fringe.
The site at 147-151 Napier Road borders residential housing on the northern edge of the township. Its multiple sheds and cool stores are currently used as a fruit storage facility for New Zealand’s biggest apple exporter, Whakatu-based Mr Apple.
Mr Apple is now winding up the facility and has placed the property on the market, sparking speculation on future use of the high-profile site. Property insiders say the large landholding on a major arterial route will attract keen interest from developers exploring projects in the fast-growing region.
The freehold land and buildings at 147-151 Napier Road, Havelock North, are now being marketed for sale with vacant possession by way of a tender closing on 1 December through Bayleys Havelock North.
Salespeople Daniel Moffitt and Jake Smith said the site comprised of several buildings with a combined floor area of approximately 2,800 square metres (more or less) on some 8,852 square metres (more or less) of land on two titles. The land includes considerable outdoor yard areas with plenty of on-site parking.
“The Napier Road property consists of a pack house, three cool stores, dry stores and a former dwelling which has been converted to office accommodation that doubles as a training facility,” said Mr Moffitt.
“The site has good exposure and easy front access from a roundabout on Napier Road, which links directly to the Havelock North town centre.”
The site is currently used as overflow storage for binned fruit and as a dry store, and a recruitment office for post-harvest workers, by Mr Apple which produces and exports a quarter of New Zealand’s apple crop.
Mr Moffitt said new owner-operators, or investors with new tenants, could seek to carry on similar activities at the property under an existing resource consent, though this would be subject to council approval.
Alternatively, residential or commercial property developers would see it as a unique opportunity to capitalise on local growth, he said.
Though the Napier Road property is zoned Rural – Plains Production under Hastings District Council’s district plan, urban expansion over the years has brought residential housing right to the site’s boundary.
“The site for sale is located right on the border of the residential zone. If a developer was granted a zone change, a residential project would benefit from its location on an arterial route minutes from the centre of Havelock North with an attractive rural outlook over Karamu Stream,” Mr Moffitt said.
Mr Smith said commercial developers were actively exploring opportunities in the area.
“Developers will investigate a range of options, such as a small shopping or services village, aged-care or early-childhood facilities or a medical centre. These would all benefit from the growing town catchment and the site’s easy access and on-site car parking,” Mr Smith said.
The Napier Road site is a few minutes’ drive from Hastings, 20 minutes from Napier and about 25 kilometres from Hawke’s Bay airport.
“Its positioning on the northern fringe of Havelock North provides ready access to town services and amenities including a public library, parks and reserves, and the retail centre with its shops, cafes, restaurants and community services. Havelock North is also well served with highly-regarded public and private schools,” said Mr Smith.
“Accelerating growth in the area has driven new demand for professional offices, and this has resulted in a number of new developments in the past five years. New residential accommodation projects continue apace and this is likely to drive higher demand for retail, service and commercial accommodation.”