Properties tempt local buyers

By John Maslin

Local investors have been active in Wanganui's commercial market.

Gil Button, commercial consultant for real estate firm Property Brokers Ltd, said this was reflected in a number of them buying up buildings and land in deals in the city in recent weeks.

Mr Button said those purchases included the land and buildings occupied by Super Cheap Auto in Victoria Ave and Alpha Precision Engineering in Ingestre St.

"The Alpha property and building was owned by outside interests but has been bought by a local investor, and the same with the Super Cheap Auto property.

"And another local buyer has bought the Just Cuts hair salon in Trafalgar Square off an out-of-town owner," he said.

Mr Button said those sales indicated there was a growing confidence among investors in Wanganui.

"We're getting a steady number of inquiries from locals keen to invest in commercial property."

Another of those commercial properties on offer was the former River City Beef meat processing plant in Castlecliff but that did not sell when it went to auction last week.

However, he said talks were currently continuing with potential buyers.

Mr Button said there was interest at auction time from some out-of-town investors and talks with them were carrying on.

He said they were keen to see the plant continue as a beef slaughter operation "but, like many buyers in the commercial arena today, they are conscious of the costs and of recommissioning the plant".

The small, specially designed plant, on the corner of Heads Rd and Gilberd St, was an extension of Stratford-based Taranaki Abattoirs and was designed to meet stringent standards required to process stock to international requirements.

It opened in 2003, employing 30 or more staff at start-up, but closed in September 2005 after a shipment of meat to Korea was found to be contaminated. It never reopened and was placed on the market but did not attract a buyer.

Mr Button said a major attraction of the plant was its relatively young age.

"It's recognised as being one of the more recent works in terms of its fit-out."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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