North of Auckland, the sale of a big industrial land holding in Silverdale, is expected to attract the interest of large-scale businesses and developers.

"The Old Mill site is up for sale for the first time in 55 years," says Graeme Perigo of Barfoot & Thompson Commercial who, with colleagues Barry Masefield and Ben Clare, is marketing 120-128 Foundry Rd for sale by tenders closing at 4pm on Wednesday September 5.

Located in the Silverdale industrial precinct, the property is about 25 minutes' drive north of the Auckland CBD and features in the agency's latest Insite property magazine.

It comprises 4.0085ha of freehold Light Industrial zoned land occupied by a total of about 3000sq m of buildings leased to a variety of industrial tenants.

Advertisement

Perigo says the site benefits from about 137sq m of road frontage to Foundry Rd with four separate entrances and could potentially be broken down into lots as small as 2000sq m. He says the site is predominantly flat and mostly surface gravelled, with fencing simplifying any future development.

"Following its purchase by the family in 1963,the property housed the small and basic Cashmore Bros timber mill for many years - servicing the logging industry within Riverhead State Forest.

"When the forest was sold to Carter Holt, the Cashmores milled logs from nearby regions including Kaukapakapa and even Kawau Island, with the Weiti River inlet behind the site allowing logs to be floated to mill."

Perigo says three generations of Cashmores continued to mill timber, initially indigenous trees and then pinus radiata, up until 2006 when the mill was decommissioned.

The Silverdale property for sale is approximately indicated by a red border. Photo / Supplied
The Silverdale property for sale is approximately indicated by a red border. Photo / Supplied

"From that time until now the land and buildings have been leased out to various industrial businesses. At present 46 industrial tenants occupy the site, ranging from small leases for the storage of containers or vehicles, through to large tenancies like Herman Pacific and Northpine." Combined the tenancies generate net annual rent of $623,924.

Perigo says Gordon Cashmore, who purchased the site 55 years ago, still actively manages the property. "Now, at 93 years of age, he has decided he should spend some time on other interests and consequently this exceptional block of land has come to the market."

Masefield says the buildings on the site account for less than 60 per cent of the land area. "It's estimated that it should be possible to achieve a rentable area closer to 85 per cent site coverage providing potential for a significant increase in the rentable area and income."

He says the site could appeal to investors and land bankers in view of the significant income it generates. "We also expect its sale to attract large companies seeking a property for their own operations; or developers looking to purchase one of largest established industrial land holdings in the Auckland region.

"Industrial vacancy rates are at historic lows and close to zero in Silverdale, so further industrial development is badly needed," he says. "With many of the tenants on short term leases, developers could continue to receive a large holding income while plans are drawn up and consents are obtained."

During the 1960s the Cashmore Bros timber mill processed logs from indigenous trees like this large kauri. Photo / Supplied
During the 1960s the Cashmore Bros timber mill processed logs from indigenous trees like this large kauri. Photo / Supplied

Perigo agrees adding that developments could be 'staged' to allow for continued income throughout future construction processes.

Clare says a lack of available industrial zoned land around Auckland is causing many businesses to move north for an easier commute and better lifestyle.

"Millwater, only a five-minute drive from Foundry Rd, already has around 2500 new homes completed and roughly 3000 planned to accommodate around 10,000 residents. On the other side of the State Highway 1 motorway, the new Milldale development is underway which is expected to provide a further 3500 homes.

"The 60ha Highgate Business Park, also under development, will deliver additional commercial space to the area. On the retail side, Farmers have just opened a new mall in the centre of Silverdale while Briscoes and Rebel Sport also have a development planned.

"With very limited quantities of new industrial land available in the immediate future and the demand showing no signs of subsiding, the appeal of this property can't be understated," Clare says.