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Oamaru will get a big boost next year when work starts on a new business park.
Already, there is interest in buying lots in stage 1 of the development on the north boundary of Oamaru.
The business park is on 22ha of land between State Highway 1 and the main trunk railway line, opposite the Oamaru racecourse.
The first stage is 17 lots, using about 10ha of the site at its southern end for industrial and commercial businesses.
"It's the most exciting development for Oamaru for years," real estate agent Tony Spivey said yesterday.
Mr Spivey's company, A.C. Spivey Ltd, has exclusive sale rights.
"This sort of land is in short supply in Oamaru," Mr Spivey said. "Already, we have four sites on offer before it has really gone on the market."
The development is being undertaken by Oamaru Land Holdings Ltd, a company owned by Auckland businessmen Andrew and Michael Carpenter, who bought the site in 2008.
Access to the park will be from SH1, opposite the racecourse lay-by, with slip lanes provided for safe entry and exit.
The front of the park will be landscaped, with an internal loop road accessing the lots.
The road will also provide access for future stages on the northern end of the land.
Lot sizes range from 2910 to 9500sq m and cost $100 (plus GST) a square metre.
This, Mr Spivey said, was reasonable for vacant, fully serviced and reticulated land with SH1 access next to the main trunk railway line, especially when compared with sites in Oamaru township that might carry extra costs such as demolition.
Flexible packages were available, he said.
The site was originally owned by Japanese businessman, the late Dr Hirotomo Ochi, who also owned Teschemakers, the former Roman Catholic boarding school.
He bought the site with the idea of developing a business park to complement his plans for an international health college at Teschemakers.
He died in 2005 and his estate put the site on the market.
It was bought in 2008 by the Carpenters, initially through their company TR Group Ltd.
From the start, the Carpenters had plans for a business park, but they needed approvals from the Waitaki District Council and New Zealand Transport Agency for access off SH1.
Other business and industrial parks are planned for Oamaru, on land owned by the Waitaki District Council.