Industrial park touches down near airport

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 12:55 09/04/2014
Mustang Park
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LAND FOR LEASE: The planned layout for Mustang Park, looking southwest with State Highway 1 top left.

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Christchurch Airport is opening up more land for a new business subdivision, writes LIZ McDONALD.

Christchurch International Airport is adding to its portfolio of property developments by building a new industrial subdivision on State Highway 1.

The airport company - Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL) whose shareholders are the Christchurch City Council and the Crown - owns 726 hectares of land and already has more than 130 tenant leases.

The new development will be known as Mustang Park.

Its 30ha site is bordered by Johns, Harewood and McLeans Island roads at the northeast end of the airport's main runway. It has been partly used for grazing.

The land has a special purpose airport zoning, and CIAL will lease rather than sell the individual sites it carves off.

The company has been following a strategy of developing land not in aeronautical use to boost profits, and has recently created the Dakota Park industrial subdivision in Russley Rd, and Spitfire Square in Memorial Ave, which will house a supermarket, food outlets, and general retailers. As well, there are tenants including airlines, freight and postal companies, and tourism operators on the main airport campus alongside the terminal.

CIAL development manager Luke Richardson said Mustang Park would be aimed at transport and vehicle businesses, including car-rental firms and trucking companies needing yard space.

"We're talking to businesses including some existing tenants," he said.

"There's been a lot of pent-up demand from rental companies, especially second-tier [small and medium] ones, who haven't been able to get into the campus."

CIAL has not yet disclosed the cost of the development, but Richardson described it as a big project.

Earthworks are being done now, with road building and other infrastructure work to follow.

The subdivision will be accessed by a new road off the end of Harwood Rd, as well as an internal cul-de-sac.

The first businesses could be in by the end of the year, Richardson said.

The design of the subdivision includes 20 lots in two stages, but the configuration will be flexible to suit tenant demand.

The blocks available range in size from quarter of a hectare to almost 11ha. CIAL has not publicly launched the project yet, but real estate company JLL has put a sign on the land and said it has a leasing campaign coming up.

"We've already had a few calls from the sign," JLL agent Chris Harding said.

He expected the flexible zoning and state highway (Johns Rd) location would help attract businesses to the park.

Richardson said that, because the airport company was a long- term landowner and not relying on sales to fund the development, Mustang Park would be cost- effective and price-competitive. CIAL reported a net profit in the year to June 2013 of $18.4 million, a sum it expects will double by 2017.

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- The Press

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