By Paul Charman
In Thames, the land, buildings and business comprising the substantial and high-tech heavy engineering operation of A.G. Price has been placed on the market for sale or lease.
The business announced about two months ago that it was to close down, after trading there for almost 150 years.
As well as the land and buildings it occupies, the business itself is also for sale through its liquidators.
With technology unique in the Southern Hemisphere, AG Price is recognised for the ability to manufacture components for a vast range of specialised agricultural and industrial applications.
It makes components for everything from Australian railways rolling stock to America's Cup boats, says Barfoot and Thompson agent Bill Carlson.
He is handling the sale/lease of the land and buildings housing the company, in association with Bayleys agent Geoff Graham and Colliers agent Simon Felton.
AG Price still operates from the site with a skeleton staff, which has been completing orders since it announced liquidation on July 26, says Carlson.
"The deadline for the future of the business - its vast premises and land holdings - is now looming," he adds.
The property has been made available, for sale or lease, through an expressions of interest process running through till Friday, September 15.
The liquidator, Ecovis KGA Ltd, is selling the business itself.
"As industrial agents, we are concerned with the heavy engineering workshops and offices, which comprise buildings totalling about 16,625sq m," says Carlson.
"These stand on 4.0176ha of land divided into 10 separate titles, ranging in size from 359sq m to 2.1375 ha. This gives a building site coverage of 41 per cent."
AG Price Ltd has been in business in Thames since 1860. In 1995 it built and developed the complex to its requirements, then sold it under leaseback to the current owner.
The land buildings for sale or lease, which have a Capital Valuation of about $4,130,000, are:
• main offices 538sq m,
•machine mould shops 1696sq m,
•machine hop 2172sq m,
•fabrication shop 1404sq m,
•fab weld 1198sq m, and
•textile building 1064sq m.
Carlson says the overall complex is essentially based on three contiguous blocks plus two outlying areas. These can broadly be described as:
• The North Block - fabrication plant;
• The South Block - main complex including offices, foundry and mobile workshops; and
• The West Block - paint shop and parking areas.
The outlying titles comprise the textile building between Queen and Owen Sts.
"There is excellent access to buildings, minimising what would otherwise be a requirement to utilise land to provide such access."
He says the property is within the northern sector of Thames and surrounding development comprises established industrial, business and residential uses.
The wider area comprises mixed development tending to heritage buildings and includes recreation, residential and industrial activity.
"This is one of several industrial pockets in Thames. Overall the property is well situated in an established industrial location."
The improvements comprise a mixed age and type complex dating back to the late 1800s, with the most recent major buildings built in the 1960s.
The most recent smaller structure is the Fettling Store, built in 1995.
Carlson says the main complex of foundries, mobile workshops and fabrication shops generally provide medium to high-stud workshop space. Though of mixed age, they are well suited to the present use.
"There is a good range of office and amenity space and the buildings have good light, air and adjacent yard space."
Meanwhile, Carlson notes there is an extensive inventory of heavy precision engineering plant and equipment on site that is owned by the tenant.
"Some of this plant is unique in the southern hemisphere and a detailed description and breakdown of the building areas will be available on request."