The Izone business hub at Rolleston 20km south of Christchurch had a record sales year in 2013.
Owned by Selwyn District Council and managed by Hughes Developments, Izone sold 28.46 hectares last year with a value of nearly $30 million.
The earthquakes have played a part but the business park has been well established for several years now.
Izone incorporates 180ha, which are either developed or zoned and ready to receive services and infrastructure, making it New Zealand’s largest industrial development.
More than 40 companies in the manufacturing, warehousing and logistics and agricultural sectors are either on site or well into the design or development phase.
Hughes Developments director Robin Hughes says there has been a tendency in some parts of the property development industry to assume there is a lot of post earthquake insurance money around and companies are anxious to set up anywhere that is fast and convenient. But he says that’s not Izone’s experience.
“We’re finding our buyers, often very big companies with very big budgets, are still prioritising the bottom line and are thinking long term. We have had to show that purchasing at Izone makes economic sense well beyond the immediacy of the revenues being generated by the Canterbury recovery.
“Izone has to stack up economically for companies and that’s not just about finding somewhere convenient to shift to after the earthquake. It means having the right facilities, prices, and support mechanisms.
“We understand that property costs have to be capped and relative to the total operating costs for businesses, which is why we pride ourselves on offering state-of-the art product at 40-60% cheaper than other industrial sites in or around Christchurch.
Mr Hughes says Izone doesn’t charge development contributions, which is a substantial saving on set-up costs.”
For large businesses especially, development contributions can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Companies that have recently bought at Izone in 2012 include Pegasus Engineering, a large structural steel fabricator; Moffat Group, which manufactures and exports a range of commercial food service products and equipment worldwide; Hynds, a large infrastructure company relocating from Hornby to meet an expanding market; furniture manufacturer Synargy; carpet and rug manufacturer CRONZ, and 17 other companies.
Currently new building is under way on eight sites of more than 13,000sq m.
“People are waking up to the fact that Izone is only 10 minutes from the Christchurch suburb of Hornby and that you can purchase in a state-of-the-art development at substantially cheaper prices than in Christchurch.”
Mr Hughes says Izone will become even more attractive, once the construction of the new Christchurch Southern Motorway is completed. It will terminate at Rolleston and connect Izone directly to Christchurch and Lyttelton Port via a four-lane highway.
Read: the rest of the Christchurch Three Years On feature stories here