Drug firm's strategy frees prime property

By Colin Taylor

The pharmaceutical company's large office and warehouse complex in the centre of the Penrose industrial zone is for sale.
The pharmaceutical company's large office and warehouse complex in the centre of the Penrose industrial zone is for sale.

Roche's distribution centre is temperature-controlled, with high-security features and good transport links.

A change in Roche Products NZ's corporate strategy has led to its New Zealand headquarters at Penrose coming onto the market.

The large office and warehouse on nearly 1ha of prime land at 8 Henderson Place, just off Church St in the centre of the Penrose industrial zone, was purpose-built for Roche, which used the temperature-controlled, clean warehouse facilities for distribution.

The complex is being marketed for sale by deadline private treaty with offers closing on Thursday, August 2, unless it is sold before that date, by Ben Herlihy and Greg Goldfinch of Colliers International.

Stuart Knight, general manager of Roche Products NZ, said that following the outsourcing of its logistics operation and other changes to its business, the company no longer required warehouse facilities and was moving to an office-only property.

"We opened the office and warehouse facility in 1990 to cater for our four key divisions encompassing pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, consumer health and fragrances and flavourings. The facility has served us very well for more than 20 years but our business has changed over that time," he said.

"We are now a much more specialised business focusing primarily on the hospital medicines market, as the world's biggest supplier of specialist cancer medication. We therefore no longer require warehousing or a location in an industrial area so have made the decision to move on."

Knight says the requirement for pharmaceutical companies to adhere to stringent standards of cleanliness in product handling means the building has been very well maintained.

"We have strived to ensure the highest levels of maintenance and quality in the office and warehouse areas of the building over our time here, and we have been inspected every year to ensure the property complies with the regulations for pharmaceutical operations," he said.

Herlihy says the building area of 3500sq m represents only a 22 per cent coverage of the 9530sq m site.

"The very low site coverage means there is significant potential for the new owner to expand the warehouse by 1100sq m or even more, while retaining drive-through capability," he said.

"Given this flexibility, and the fact that this property offers a substantial landholding in one of Auckland's most desirable industrial areas, we expect to receive significant interest."

He believes the property will appeal to large industrial owner occupiers looking for a centrally located head office to accommodate their administration and warehousing/manufacturing activities on one site - potentially companies in the tech industry which require climate-controlled warehousing.

"We expect the property's size will also attract add-value developers who could expand the current facilities for a future tenant or create additional hardstand yard areas for container movement and storage," Herlihy said.

The modern, 1150sq m warehouse provides clean production and storage space with dust-free flooring. Roller doors are incorporated ineach end of the warehouse, witha cold storage room to one sideand a mezzanine storage area. Significant 330sq m canopiesshelter the entrances.

Goldfinch says the building is an ideal head office for large multinational firms with its 1640sq m of well-presented corporate grade offices, boardroom, meeting areas and a staff cafeteria spread across two floors adjoining the warehouse.

"The lift-serviced office floors are partitioned into individual offices accommodating between one and three staff members each, but the space could be easily reconfigured into a more modern, open-plan layout. This would allow a large number of staff to be comfortably housed in the office portion of the building," he said.

A landscaped courtyard provides an outdoor staff entertaining area off the cafeteria and warehouse. There are three street access points.

"The property also features a high level of security, with automated gated access and perimeter fencing, secure key-card access and a 16-camera security system," says Goldfinch. "Plenty of staff and visitor car parking is offered on site, with the property's strategic location ensuring easy road access to State Highways 1 and 20, as well as Auckland Airport only 13km away, the inland Metroport 1km distant and 12km to Auckland's CBD."

The Te Papapa railway station is 200m from the rear of the property.

The property is on Business 5 zoned land, allowing for a wide range of commercial and industrial activities.

Herlihy says Penrose is known as one of Auckland's premier industrial areas, with occupiers attracted to its closeness to key arterial routes which give easy access to the port and airport.

"Land values reflect the desirability of this area, with values at $350 to $400 per square metre at the moment," he says.

Recent research from Colliers International shows prime capital values in the Mt Wellington/Penrose industrial market are expected to increase by 3.5 per cent over the year from March 2012.

- NZ Herald

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