Cheese factory ready for a new start

By Colin Taylor

Equipment in the Kerepehi cheese factory is still regularly maintained.
Equipment in the Kerepehi cheese factory is still regularly maintained.

The former Kerepehi cheese factory on the Hauraki Plains is on the market with all its facilities - including its large cool stores and waste disposal system - in working order.

The 6470sq m factory was built in the 1980s and has been used for storage by a local businessman since it closed in 1991.

It is on a 2ha site at Kerepehi, a small town on State Highway 2 in the middle of the Hauraki Plains and at the midway point between Ngatea, Thames and Paeroa.

The property, with a 2011 capital valuation of $680,000, is for sale by tender closing on May 26, through Jim McKinlay of Bayleys Waikato,

McKinlay says the factory was considered state-of-the-art when it was constructed in 1980.

He has been surprised by the early interest in the factory, which is in its original condition and is likely to sell for a fraction of its replacement cost.

"One of the biggest dilemmas for food manufacturers is the disposal of waste or wastewater, and this factory still has its system very much in place. It needs only a new consent to operate it," he says.

The factory has 2810sq m of general factory space, 2386sq m of cool storage, a 140sq m canopy, a 669sq m mezzanine administration area and a further 465sq m of office, laboratory and amenity space.

Factory floors include one large space and three smaller spaces, all with wash-down drains.

The mezzanine floor has a substantial staff facility with a canteen, kitchen and dining room plus toilets and showers with a neighbouring locker room.

This floor also contains a training room, and a high loading bay accessible to forklifts provides a connection between ground and first floor.

There are six cool store rooms of about 380sq m each. A machine room provides individual temperature management control for the cool stores and is serviced regularly.

McKinlay says the property is in the heart of a productive dairy region and, with the dairy industry moving into niche markets, there has been some interest in the Kerepehi plant from smaller operators wanting a cost effective facility.

There has also been interest from some niche food manufacturers aware of the costs of setting up a new facility.

"The factory is close to three reasonably sized towns which would provide an excellent labour pool for any new owner," McKinlay says.

"It's only 100km south of Auckland and is close to domestic markets like Auckland and Hamilton and near the port of Tauranga for exports."

- NZ Herald

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