High-profile site goes on the market

Last updated 10:05 15/01/2014

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Greenfields land for sale north of Christchurch needs a serious land developer, writes LIZ McDONALD.

Alarge greenfields development site which has just been put up for sale north of Christchurch has been in the same family for decades.

Earmarked for an industrial subdivision, it now needs a professional land developer to take it on.

The wedge-shaped piece of land is just south of the Waimakariri River where Belfast meets Kainga. The site is bordered by the Main North Rd and Christchurch's northern motorway.

It is owned by Sigma Finance, a company part-owned by members of the Fraemohs family including Monni Fraemohs who began a timber house building business in the 1960s after immigrating from Denmark.

The land has been in the Fraemohs family for a long time under different ownership names, and is now estimated to be worth at least $4 million.

The bare site covers over 6.1 hectares and has a 2007 rating valuation of $2.1 million. Resource consent to develop it as an industrial subdivision was obtained before the earthquakes.

Bryan Ashworth of Ray White Commercial, who is marketing the property, is looking for offers on the site. He says it needs a professional land developer.

"It's not for the handyman. There's no infrastructure there so somebody will have to put all that in. "It's a full-blown ground-up development project for somebody to take on".

Ashworth says he has had "half a dozen" inquiries about the land so far. "People are definitely looking. A lot are looking for something quick-fire, but there are professional developers with a longer term view and the experience for something complex".

He believe the property's location near Belfast and high profile alongside main roads give it value at a time when industrial sites are in demand.

"It's a sizeable chunk of land, which means you could do a subdivision on a reasonable scale and it would be efficient."

Ashworth also suggests the property could be landbanked - set aside for later development.

Demand for industrial property in and around Christchurch has been high since the earthquakes, and both prices and rents have risen, although these rises have recently started to level off.

Research shows industrial landlords in the region are making the best returns of any commercial property owners in the country.

Another industrial subdivision is planned for the Belfast area by a company headed by property investor and rich-lister Simon Henry.

The company paid $5.6m in 2012 for a piece of freezing works land which had been owned by the failed South Canterbury Finance before being taken over by the Crown.

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Henry plans to build a $36m industrial park housing up to 30 businesses.

Large amounts of new housing are also planned in residential subdivisions in and around Belfast.

- The Press

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