Two mail centres mooted for city

Palmerston North could get two Manawatu Mail Centres as New Zealand Post looks at how its expanding operation in the city can accommodate 180 extra staff.

Two sites is one option on the table, the company has confirmed.

In June, NZ Post announced a company-wide restructure that would close Wellington's Te Puni Mail Centre but skyrocket the number of people employed at the Manawatu Mail Centre from about 90 to close to 270.

This would be the equivalent of 120 fulltime workers for the city, with a number of new staff set to be part-timers.

In October, it was confirmed the current site was not big enough to accommodate the influx of workers and operations and a new site would have to be found.

Now the site at 9 Matthews Ave on the western side of Coronation Park is on the market, with NZ Post to start a six-year lease on the property once it is sold.

The deal to buy the multimillion-dollar industrial property would likely include allowing NZ Post to partially terminate the lease at the end of the second year, an information memorandum shows.

New Zealand Post spokesman Richard Trow said one of the options being discussed was having two mail centres in the city, splitting staff and operations between them.

"There are several options that are being considered. We are very close to finalising the agreement for the new facility and expect to be in a position to make an announcement in late March."

Colliers International Palmerston North agent Grant Lloyd said it was highly likely NZ Post would want to stay on at the Matthews Ave site in some capacity.

"It makes it a highly attractive property. They're a really good solid tenant to have."

The Manawatu Mail Centre was built in the industrial area in 1989 and, together with the land it is on, has a 2012 capital value of $6.1 million.

Rates on the 11,508 square metre property come to $31,121 with annual rent from NZ Post likely to be in the order of $400,000 a year.

The site includes the 2111sqm warehouse, a 919sqm interchange, 1715sqm of office space and 85 car parks.

NZ Post has been working to a deadline that allows the Te Puni Mail Centre to close in 2015.

Manawatu Standard