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Developer lands Holden factory sale deal

With interest: Holden’s Elizabeth car factory – which even includes a cricket oval – is being sold by tender.

Holden says its Elizabeth plant site will become large business hub

Holden logo6 Oct 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

AN INTERSTATE property developer has been selected by Holden as the preferred buyer for its giant 123-hectare factory site at Elizabeth, South Australia, where Holden car production is set to grind to a halt forever on October 20.

The land – reportedly worth between $50 million and $70 million – is set to be redeveloped into what Holden describes as one of Australia’s largest strategically positioned business hubs.

Paperwork for the sale to the unnamed developer is still being completed after the six-month tender process wrapped up in recent days. Holden says that once contracts are finalised, the name of the purchaser and further details will be announced.

GoAuto understands commercial property agent CBRE, which handled the sale on Holden’s behalf, fielded at least two firm offers for the industrial land on Phillip Highway, about 20km north of Adelaide.

Holden will retain part of the site for storage of vehicle panels for spare parts under a requirement for manufacturers to supply such parts for a minimum of 10 years. Those parts have already been stamped and stored.

Under the deal, existing factory buildings that cover about 23 hectares of the site will remain for the new owner to either lease or demolish.

Much of the property is open grassland, and it even includes a cricket ground used by local cricketers.

Holden’s manufacturing executive director Richard Phillips announced yesterday that the preferred investor/developer from interstate had been identified for the property “based on their long-term investment strategy”.

“They have a good performance record and ability to deliver a high-quality outcome, with a willingness to work with local authorities and the community,” he said.

“The site is to be transformed into a master-planned, innovative business park, providing employment opportunities for new and established industries such as resources, engineering, logistics, construction, defence, food and beverage and sales from both the local, national and international market.

“Renewable energies will be part of the master plan.”

Holden was keen to see the site continue as an industrial precinct to help provide as many jobs as possible for almost 2000 Holden employees and other unemployed workers in the Elizabeth area where the jobless rate runs as high as 30 per cent.

Holden says its six-decade history at the site will be recognised in a proposed heritage centre and hospitality venue. The collection there is expected to include the final Commodore sedan, wagon and ute, and Caprice to come off the production line this week, although it is unclear if that will be permanent or temporary.

Another of the final cars will be donated to the Australian National Museum in Canberra.

Before Holden hands over the Elizabeth site, it also plans to retrieve one treasure: a time capsule buried in 2008. It plans to find a suitable home for the capsule until it is due to be opened.

Meanwhile, Holden has given a special display of cars and manufacturing equipment to the National Motor Museum at Birdwood, in the Adelaide Hills. The display includes various Holden models riding on assembly line carriers, mimicking the production environment.

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