9 May 2018
Rare development site in Brisbane’s south to be sold
Huge domestic and overseas interest expected for Runcorn property, which has the potential to be transformed into a TOD
A rare and sizeable industrial offering with huge future opportunity, including the potential for a transit-oriented development (TOD), is expected to be highly sought after when it hits the market in June.
The 16.2 ha Runcorn property at Nathan Road, situated 20 minutes south of the Brisbane CBD, is owned by Bradken, a global foundry business serving the mining sector. The company has been manufacturing iron and steel parts for mining and construction equipment on the site for more than 60 years, having purchased it in 1955.
Mark Clifford and Christian Sandstrom of Knight Frank will take the property to market via an expressions of interest campaign next month.
Mr Clifford said it was expected the site would generate strong buyer interest from a wide range of developers, including both domestic and from overseas, looking at many different types of uses.
“This is an exciting opportunity full of potential for any developer, and many have actually been eyeing off the site for several years,” he said.
“While it is currently zoned for industrial use, as urban sprawl has occurred over the years it has become surrounded by residential properties and we believe it has potential for a variety of uses.
“Since it’s situated right next to the Runcorn train station, one of those potential uses is a transit-oriented development, which could comprise a mix of commercial, retail and residential space.
“The opportunity is huge for a TOD on this site, especially considering the focus on rail infrastructure in Queensland and improvements to connectivity. The train line that runs through the Runcorn station into Brisbane city feeds into the Cross River Rail, which is firmly on the Government’s agenda.”
Mr Sandstrom said it was rare for a site of this magnitude to come onto the market, especially in Brisbane’s southside precinct.
“There are no big tracts of land like this in that booming area, especially situated right next to a train line,” he said.
“Future development options for the site will take into consideration the needs of the residents in the surrounding catchment, which may incorporate retail, commercial office, residential, allied health, aged care and other community uses. Given the scale of the site we anticipate any future development will incorporate open space for recreational purposes.
“We believe the proposed change from a heavy industrial use to more compatible uses will be favourably supported by the local residents.”
Operations at the foundry are expected to cease by mid to late next year.
Another parcel of land at Mackay owned by Bradken will also be listed for sale, as the company reorganises its presence in Queensland.
Operations at the Runcorn foundry have been in decline since 2012 as a direct result of the mining downturn and high costs of manufacturing, which is why the property is being divested, according to Bradken’s Executive General Manager for Mobile Plant Brad Ward.
“Our products compete at a global scale and the high cost of manufacturing in Australia, means keeping these operations running is not sustainable,” Mr Ward said.
“Like all businesses, we have to continually look at how our operations can remain competitive. We compete in a global market and have to deliver value to our customers.”
Bradken’s Australian foundries in Ipswich and Wodonga, Dunedin in New Zealand and Xuzhou in China have the capacity and space to take on the work currently being completed at Runcorn and Mackay.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what this site can deliver for the people of Brisbane, but our focus now is on making sure we look after our people who are impacted by this change,” Mr Ward said.
“We value our people and the work they do. Our manufacturing staff at Runcorn and Mackay have excellent reputations for the quality of the product they produce and the safe way they go about their work.
“We are supporting them with the skills to cope with this change and transition to new roles, where they might be available within Bradken, and also externally.”
Bradken employs about 3000 people worldwide, with about 400 in Queensland. The Runcorn sale will impact about 150 jobs and Mackay about 5 jobs. Bradken will still have a presence in Queensland with foundry and machine shop operations at Ipswich and other offices at Innisfail, the Port of Brisbane and Northgate. Bradken will retain a presence in Mackay after the sale of its existing site there.