Construction firm unveils giant industrial subdivision

MICHAEL BERRY
Last updated 05:00 22/03/2013

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South Island-based construction firm Calder Stewart has unveiled its largest-ever development which could be Christchurch's biggest industrial subdivision.

The 201-hectare spread of land in the southwest corner of Hornby, branded Hornby Quadrant, will be released in stages.

Calder Stewart owns 140ha outright, the remaining 61ha is farmland owned by food manufacturer Heinz Wattie's.

It includes 10ha of already developed land on the northern side of Sir James Wattie Dr.

A further 35ha will be opened up on the southern side of the road in April.

A 44ha block of land to the south of the existing industrial area off Halswell Junction Rd will be flattened and roads laid to be ready later this year.

Calder Stewart plans to hold the remaining 51ha for about five years or more until more land is needed.

The Heinz Wattie's land to the west of Shands Rd is a possible future stage.

Calder Stewart development manager Kevin Arthur said the company had done large developments all around the country, but never 200 hectares.

"Nothing of this scale - this is a whole new scale for us."

The land was bought up in the 1990s and 2000s as farmland as part of the company's land bank for development when the need arose.

The first 10ha on Sir James Wattie Dr was developed in the late 2000s, and almost all the land has been sold or built on.

Last year Calder Stewart extended its precast concrete factory using some of the land and finished a roofing factory earlier this year with another plot.

It had taken seven years and "many millions of dollars" to get the rest of the land rezoned for business use and the subdivision consents for the second stage approved, Arthur said.

It got the nod from local government halfway through last year, but held off launching the development while it tied up deals with some larger clients and waited for greater clarity around the path of the Southern Motorway.

The latest route meant the plan was likely to take some of the land and isolate a small corner of the 35ha Sir James Wattie Dr block.

It would take some of the company's land, but it also put the arterial system on the development's doorstep, Arthur said.

Some large businesses have already committed to the park, with Foodstuffs South Island starting earthworks for the distribution centre expansion out the back of its 10,000-square-metre Hickory Place site. It will add a 25,000sqm grocery storage building, replacing the Main North Rd storage site, although the head office will stay in Papanui.

A replacement hatchery for Tegel is being built nearby.

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Sleepyhead is building a 10,000sqm bed factory to replace its quake-damaged Halswell Junction Rd mattress and base facility and foam production plant in Treffers Rd.

- BusinessDay.co.nz

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