Belfast business park groundwork under way
Work has begun building an industrial park on an old freezing works site, as LIZ MCDONALD reports.
Industrial business parks are being built or expanded all around Christchurch, as businesses getting stuck into the rebuild need more space.
But only one is on the northern side of town - the 22-hectare Belfast Business Park being built by Rapaki Property Group.
The $36 million subdivision is on the former site of the Canterbury Freezing Works, part of a larger property which once included the Belfast Freezing Works.
The land had been owned by South Canterbury Finance, and was taken and sold by the Crown to recoup assets after it bailed out the collapsed financier's investors.
Rapaki, headed by rich lister Simon Henry, paid $5.6m in 2012 for the site. It came complete with resource consent for an industrial subdivision.
The property is on the corner of Belfast and Blakes roads, just east of State Highway 1.
Meat co-operative Silver Fern Farms previously owned the property and remains a tenant on part of the site, on what will later be stage three.
Work building the subdivision has got underway later than planned. Underground services and earthworks are being done now for stage one at the eastern side of the site, and roads will be built next.
The whole subdivision will have about 42 lots, including 24 of those in stage one.
The project's development manager, Felicity Clark, says titles should be ready for buyers by later this year.
Site sizes in stage one range from 1750sqm to 2.4ha, with land prices between $180 and $200 a square metre. Stages two and three will be rolled out to suit market demand.
Clark says Rapaki hopes the development's location, on the northern corridor to Christchurch and near several big residential subdivisions, will boost sales.
They have sold two sites including one to a scaffolding company, and are negotiating with two other would-be buyers.
One is a local business expanding, while the others are property developers planning design-build projects.
Clark says they are keen to attract a large logistics company, and they have already been approached by some large operators.
Sites can be merged or resized for buyers, if needed.
"We are really flexible, we can alter the boundaries to suit their requirements."
The zoning of the park allows for a mix of heavy and light industry, plus attached offices.
A cafe facing Belfast Rd could also be part of the complex.