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Investors prepare to do it themselves as key PlaceMakers premises go up for sale

The land and building housing a key regional outlet for New Zealand’s biggest building materials and hardware supplier have been placed on the market for sale.

The property at 2 Millar Place in the Kopu industrial precinct just south of Thames, is occupied by PlaceMakers as its central presence serving the northern Waikato and Coromandel Peninsula.

The PlaceMakers chain employs around 2,000 people and serves 300,000 customers across 62 stores, from Kaitaia to Invercargill. It sells more than 74,000 product lines – from concrete and wood through to paint and plasterboard – while also manufacturing frames and trusses at eight factories nationwide.

PlaceMakers is the trading name of Fletcher Distribution Limited, the retail trading arm of Fletcher Building Limited in New Zealand. Its stores trade under an operating structure developed following the 1988 merger between Fletcher Merchants and Winstone Trading Limited (which included Odlins and Zip Trading).

PlaceMakers Thames occupies the Millar Place property on a lease running through to 2027, with three further four-year rights of renewal - generating annual net rental of $270,000 plus outgoings and GST per annum.

The property is now being marketed for sale jointly by Bayleys Hamilton and Bayleys Coromandel. Salespeople Josh Smith and Belinda Sammons said the premises consisted of a 2,000-square metre building located on some 5,940 square metres of freehold land.

Mr Smith said the modern steel-framed, iron-clad warehouse structure was purpose-built for PlaceMakers in 2008 to serve both the brand’s retail and trade customers.

“The warehouse is split into two distinct ‘zones’. At the front, an open-plan retail showroom caters to all aspects of home-building, while the remaining area at the rear operates as the business’s bulk warehouse,” Mr Smith said.

“The warehouse building is surrounded a securely-fenced concrete yard. Dual entrances from Millar Place and Kopu Road allow easy access for deliveries of inward goods and drive-through collection of bulk supplies – while not interfering with the abundant onsite car parking for customers and staff.”

The Kopu property has an Initial Evaluation Procedure rating of 100 percent of new building standards and is zoned Industrial (7A) under Thames-Coromandel District Council’s district plan.

“Recognising Kopu’s status as a key access point to the Coromandel Peninsula and northern Waikato, PlaceMakers relocated to these purpose-built premises from central Thames in 2008,” Mr Smith said.

“As an anchor business in the newly-developed Kopu Industrial precinct, Placemakers has established itself as a long-term occupant in this now-popular industrial hub.”

Mr Smith said demand for hardware and building supplies appeared well-supported in the current trading environment shaped by Covid-19.

“Reports of early-morning queues as hardware stores reopened post-the level four and three lockdown augur well for future demand from both DIY homeowners and the trades,” he said.

“Construction is a vital element of the Government’s plans to restart the economy. At the same time, many Kiwis are responding to uncertainty in the housing market by embarking on maintenance and improvement projects on their existing homes.”

Ms Sammons said the Kopu precinct sustained mostly industrial businesses which serviced the peninsula and neighbouring Waikato townships.

“Along with PlaceMakers, a number of other national-brand tenants – such as Farmsource and ITM – have chosen this well-established industrial hub as a base for their business,” she said.

“The precinct is supported by its easy access to major urban catchments – with Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga all within a 110-kilometre radius. Its location at the junction of State Highways 25 and 26 provides strategic transport links and a high-profile location.”

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