AgResearch reaches agreement for sale of Wallaceville site

Crown Research Institute AgResearch has entered into a conditional agreement for the sale of the remainder of its former Wallaceville campus in Upper Hutt.

The site is being sold in two parcels. A four hectare block was purchased by retirement village developer and operator Summerset in June for the expansion of its adjacent retirement village.

The balance of the site (approximately 58 hectares) is being purchased for development. The purchaser wishes to remain confidential until all sale conditions are met.

The AgResearch facility at Wallaceville was closed in 2008.

AgResearch Chief Executive Dr Tom Richardson has welcomed the sale.

“We have been working for a considerable period of time on concluding this sale and had been in negotiation with a number of parties. It is great news for Upper Hutt that this site will become a productive asset for the community.”

Among the alternate proposals was one for the development of an international film studio on the site.

“Unfortunately the group behind the studio concept were not able to complete an offer, despite several extensions in the sales timeframe,” says Dr Richardson. “I am sure they will be disappointed.”

Upper Hutt City Mayor Wayne Guppy says “We have been working closely with AgResearch on the options for the Wallaceville site and it’s great to see this land being made available for future development.

“While it’s unfortunate that the film studio proposal hasn’t materialised, we see today’s announcement as good for the city and are delighted to have these development options ready to go,” he says.

Dr Richardson says AgResearch will use the proceeds of the Wallaceville sale to upgrade science facilities at its other campuses. He says this will enhance the organisation’s ability to deliver world-leading science to farmers and the wider pastoral and food sectors as it seeks to increase the value of New Zealand’s agricultural exports.