A temporary workers accommodation facility and a heavy vehicle storage yard are two of the cost-effective development options being proposed for a bare section up for sale in a small Waikato township which has been the ‘posterboy’ for the region’s industrial growth.
The 1,252 square metre site at Kerepehi in the northern Waikato is immediately adjacent to the Allied Faxi ice cream manufacturing plant in what was previously a mothballed dairy factory. Since ramping up its production in 2016, Allied Faxi now employs some 60 staff – with most of its ice cream exported to China.
Leveraging off that anchor activity, some 23 vacant industrial building sites immediately opposite the Kerepehi dairy factory were tagged as future development opportunities by pro-business Hauraki District Council, which worked with the land owner to attract new businesses into the area.
Most of the sites - ranging in size from 2020 square metres up to 12,392 square metres – have been sold to either start-up companies and firms looking for cheap land in the famed ‘Golden Triangle’ linking Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
On the other side of the Allied Faxi ice cream plant is log processor Tanner Sawmills – the main supplier to neighbouring business and residential dwelling timber manufacturer Pohutakawa Frames and Trusses which relocated to Kerepehi and now employs more than staff. Pohutakawa Frames and Trusses’ products are transported to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga for use in home building.
Hauraki District Council invested an initial $9 million upgrading Kerepehi’s water treatment plant to accommodate the town’s industrial growth. To further attract industrial firms to the area, Hauraki District Council removed property development contribution fees - making it cheaper for developers and business owner/operators to build new premises.
Now a flat corner site at 110 Kerepehi Town Road in Kerepehi has been placed on the market for sale by tender through Bayleys Hamilton, with the tender process closing on June 11. Bayleys Hamilton salespeople Josh Smith and Daniel Keene said that with an Industrial 7A zoning classification under the Hauraki District Council plan - along with with utilities at its boundary - the site had multiple development options.
“Situated just off State Highway 2, Kerephei’s businesses draw their labour pool from the nearby townships of Thames, Paeroa and Ngatea – all just 10-minutes drive away in various directions,” Mr Smith said.
“While there is some degree of worker accommodation in the surrounding townships, there is no commercial short-term accommodation in Kerepehi other than in house-sharing scenarios.
“As a consequence there is an obvious need for the likes of a commercially-operated caravan park or short-term accommodation amenity offering the likes of portacabin units.”
Among the employment opportunities currently listed on job search website Seek for the Hauraki Plains and surrounding areas are: horticultural glasshouse crop pickers in Tuakau and Reporoa, a vet in Paeroa, freight sorter and cleaners positions in Thames, a roading manager in Thames, and a works supervisor in Kerepehi.
“There is work out in the community, and those staff will need somewhere to stay – either during the term of their contract, or while they find their preferred long-term accommodation. The answer is a short-term accommodation amenity,” Mr Smith said.
“Alternatively, the flat topography of the Kerepehi Town Road section could easily sustain an industrial vehicle yard – taking into account the nature of the surrounding industrial tenancies and their business requirements to transport product to either Port of Tauranga or the consumer markets of Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and beyond.”