The simultaneous sprawl of commercial and industrial land south from Auckland and north from Hamilton has spurred the sale of a substantial 'greenfield' development site midway between the two cities.
The large 4093 square metre freehold site at 26 Rangiriri Road in Rangiriri is just a couple of hundred metres from the new high-speed four-lane express route linking Auckland and Hamilton.
The flat grassed site has three titles with a combined Waikato District Council rateable value of $352,000.
The land is zoned commercial, with a usable corrugated iron workshop flanked by two small wooden storage buildings, and has been used as the depot for a trucking operation for the past 60 years.
Now the land is jointly being marketed for sale at auction on October 6 by Bayleys Auckland and Bayleys Hamilton through salespeople Meredith Graham and Josh Smith.
Graham said the location of the Rangiriri land would suit a logistics or transport focused firm with a high degree of business activity in the 'Golden Triangle' between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, and even embracing the Northern Bay of Plenty and Coromandel regions to the east.
"The on-going jig-saw construction of the Waikato Expressway sees the five kilometre Te Kauwhata–Ohinewai stretch running along the edge of Rangiriri due for completion later this year," she said.
"The Waikato Expressway is made up of four sections - the first part beginning at the top of the Bombay Hills and ending at Longswamp, the second beginning at Rangiriri and ending at Ohinewai, the third beginning at Taupiri and ending at Te Rapa and the fourth beginning at Tamahere and ending two-and- a-half kilometres south of Cambridge.
Rangiriri is one of only a select few townships with interchange access along the entire expressway – the others being Bombay and Mercer, she said.
Currently, work is underway on the construction of the Huntly by-pass - which will make Rangiriri the last town on the expressway network heading south before Hamilton.
"Land in Rangiriri is markedly cheaper currently than comparable sized commercial blocks in the more built up towns adjacent to the expressway. In addition, as a greenfield site, the Rangiriri site it has a virtual blank canvas for development as it is unconstrained by any existing or previous use clauses," Graham said.
"Similarly, for a freight forwarding, warehousing-reliant, or logistics type firm, the set up and operating costs in Rangiriri are substantially more attractive than even the urban fringes of any of the bigger cities surrounding this central location."
Graham said that under this format, the site lent itself towards an owner/operator looking to develop.
However, Smith said there was another completely different opportunity for the location - with concept plans already designed for the site which could see the establishment of a country-themed cafe utilising the existing building. These plans would be made available to any potential buyer.
"State Highway One already has an established network of convenience stops heading south out of Auckland – starting with the BP Papakura fuel and retail hub, the Bombay fuel, food and beverage centre, and the Mercer country stop," Smith said.
"After Mercer though, there will be nothing really until Hamilton once the express way is completed…. except for Rangiriri. Anchored by the highly-visible Rangiriri Tavern, the town is prime for extending the motoring convenience chain south from Auckland.
"With local traffic, including those coming from over the Waikato River to the west and a new off ramp, ease of access to the site is assured. This is a major benefit for any business wanting to service either a fleet of industrial scaled vehicles looking for quick access to the motorway just a few hundred metres away, or a business whose client base would be reliant on passenger vehicles, again coming to or from the nearby motorway.
"The addition of a cafe would also be a food and beverage drawcard for the local rural population which currently has only one other cafe style option in Rangiriri, and otherwise has to head north or south on the motorway to find a decent coffee or panini."
Smith said a new food and beverage venue could leverage off Rangiriri's historical significance – as one of the most important pa and battle sites off the 1840 - 1986 Maori Land Wars.
Rangiriri is the site of the Waikato's largest Maori Land Wars conflict - The Battle of Rangiriri.
A vast number of people visit the battle sites annually. This is forecast to grow in 2017 with the completion of the new expressway.
"Rangiriri is also linked to the West Coast [of the North Island] via the Rangiriri Bridge over the Waikato River.
The auction is being held in Bayleys Hamilton's offices.