Old mill site land for sale
Things are happening at Putaruru’s old mill site although it does not appear to be the construction of the grand buttermilk complex envisaged in 2011.
Once considered the lifeblood of the town, the sawmill was closed by Carter Holt Harvey in 2008, at the cost of more than 200 local jobs.
The sawmill opened in the early 1900s, and without it Putaruru town might never have existed.
In 2011 the current land owners wanted to take advantage of the infrastructure and location to create a business park in the heart of South Waikato.
The owning company, Buttermilk Putaruru Limited, is now putting the land on the market.
Just 65km from Port of Tauranga and surrounded by dairy country, the 13 hectare site is close to State Highway 1 and has access to a rail siding.
There are currently three titles, but the South Waikato District Council has given permission for it to be split into five.
Bayleys Tauranga agent Graeme Coleman said owners Sam Wulff, Paul Washer and Dave Macfarlane believe the titles could be subdivided even further, though that would be subject to approval from the council.
The vendors are flexible as to how the lots are sold.
‘‘If anyone wants to buy a few hectares, they’ve got it. If someone wants to lease a few hectares, they’ve got it,’’ said Coleman. ‘‘They’ll listen to anyone who comes along.’’
He said the land could be sold as one block, or sold in parts or leased.
In September 2012 the land was valued at $1.5 million, which would put it at a little over $11 per square metre.
Coleman said similar commercial land nearer to Hamilton or Tauranga is much more expensive.
Tenants currently on the property include agriculture training school Taratahi, Moorey Contractors, Livestock Improvement Corporation, Putaruru Diesel, The Gym and a feed supplement supplier with total annual rent of approximately $100,000.
Coleman said there are plenty of unoccupied buildings and empty space for development.
The longest existing lease is for six years, and Coleman said if a developer or new tenant had particular plans, tenants could be moved around the site to suit.
He said the site would suit distribution companies, farm machinery suppliers, manufacturers or storage.
The property is zoned for business, allowing industrial, commercial and retail activity.
It could be used by a large company looking to relocate, or a smaller owner-operator who wants to lease out or sell the balance of the land.
‘‘There’s a whole range of types of building,’’ said Coleman. ‘‘[And] if someone wanted 5ha of bare land they can pull some down.’’
Reminisce: Past and present council staff chat about the ‘‘good old days’’ and how things have changed in 25 years.
Today’s workers: South Waikato District Council workers Sina Tolovae, left, Marnie Rydon, Desiree Morunga, Leleina Tolovae, Jenny Cook and Amanda White enjoy the celebrations. Photos: WAYNE RYDER