Bob Clarkson's industrial land put up for sale

By Joseph Aldridge

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One of Tauranga's largest privately-owned industrial properties has been put on the market to allow the owner to free up cash for his future development plans.

Industrial property developer Bob Clarkson is selling his 3.1 hectare Tauriko property on Whakakake St so he can buy more land in the Tauriko Business Estate and continue building.

Mr Clarkson purpose-built the two large buildings on the site in 2010/11 for New Zealand's largest manufacturer of buses Kiwi Bus Builders.

The bus builders signed a 10-year lease in 2011 and pay an annual rent of $590,976 plus GST, according to the sales material.

Mr Clarkson said it was sad to end his association with Kiwi Bus Builders - "they're good people, they never missed a payment" - but the sale was in order to free up cash for his future development plans.

"We're quoting to two or three big tenants, one's a 8500sq m building and another one is about 5500sq m," he said.

"This takes a lot of money so I've got to step back a bit to come forward with the rush."

Mr Clarkson said he would be talking to Bryce Donne of Element IMF (the owner of the Tauriko Business Estate) about buying more industrial land.

"I like to keep my buildings but now and again you've got to let one go just to make things move."

Mr Clarkson said he had about 35 tenants.

Mr Donne said he had made a couple of land trade deals with Mr Clarkson over the past few years but was happy to hear cash purchases were planned.

"This has been justified through the recession but is becoming increasingly hard, so we will all celebrate a return to selling for cash. I've asked our commercial manager to sharpen her pencil and expect a call from Bob."

Mr Donne said stage two of the 27-hectare Tauriko Business Estate had been released this year and five hectares had already been sold to local businesses.

"A further 12 hectares is available for sale now, with the remaining 10 hectares available in 12 months," he said.

"We are in negotiations on two sales which would see a further 2.2 hectares of buildings underway in the near future."

Colliers International industrial leasing sales specialist Rob Schoeser said the large size and good condition of the property would likely see it sell for between $7 million and $8 million.

"The last significant sale at Tauriko Business estate was the Downer Edi site which was sold in 2010 for a sales price of close to $9 million," he said.

"We don't have many privately-owned large manufacturing facilities in our area and we rarely see these properties offered on the open market.

"This opens fantastic investment opportunities for locals and investors all over New Zealand wanting a piece of the Tauranga industrial market."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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