Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center For Sale Goes Under The Microscope With Real Estate Investors

A former riding school, wedding and reception hall – converted into the research headquarters of a high-tech agricultural biotechnology company – has been put on the market for sale.

The property and buildings housing the laboratories and research facilities of groundbreaking rural science company Ecolibrium Biologicals are located in Bombay, just south of Auckland, and span some 18.55 hectares of land.

The substantial property was originally developed as a kiwifruit orchard in the early 1980s when its owners built a three-bedroom house, while simultaneously converting an old barn and building which was later turned into an equestrian center and school.

The infrastructure of the venue was extended in the early 1990s when a pavilion was built as a riding school pavilion, which later turned into a wedding reception venue – known as Footbridge, with its own chapel on site, allowing wedding ceremonies to take place on site.

Equipped with a commercial kitchen, restaurant and licensed bar, the venue successfully operated under the Footbridge business model. In 2001, consent was granted for the development of an equine research facility on site, and an American-style barn was added to support activity in this area.

A decade later, consent was granted to build five separate accommodation units for use by guests and to accommodate site staff. In 2014, another consent was granted to convert the property into an agricultural biotechnology research facility.

The property was then leased to groundbreaking New Zealand rural research company Ecolibrium Biologicals. In collaboration with New Zealand’s leading food production research companies and private universities, Ecolibrium Biologicals is developing new biological pesticides known as bioprotectants for use in the rural production sector as alternatives to traditional agro-chemical pesticides. . The company markets its products and intellectual property worldwide.

Now, the land, buildings and staff accommodation complex of the Autonomous Research Center at 59 Chamberlain Road in Bombay is being put up for sale by tender through Bayleys Pukekohe, with tenders closing on September 8. Sellers Ben Jameson and Shona Brown said the property offered the chance for investors to get involved in a little-known part of New Zealand’s deep tech sector.

“The work undertaken by Ecolibrium Biologicals is world-class, and the Bombay property supports the company’s efforts at every level, from housing staff to providing state-of-the-art research facilities,” said Jameson. .

“Various infrastructure elements of what was previously the hospitality and catering elements of the property have been strategically converted to support the commercial activities of Ecolibrium Biologicals, with the ongoing renovations adding rental value in coming years.”

The complete inventory of building infrastructure on the property includes:

• A 220 square meter horse stable converted into a science laboratory at the heart of Ecolibrium Biological’s research hub, with several smaller rooms assigned to specific research activities

• The 326 square meter former conference center and wedding venue converted into a research laboratory and offices, with an adjoining 127 square meter single storey apartment with two bedrooms and a pair of electric vehicle charging stations

• A 144 square meter American style barn partially converted into a laboratory

• A 181 square meter three-bedroom, two-storey house currently being renovated with the intention of being used as staff accommodation

• A pair of 86 square meter two-bedroom/two-bathroom accommodation chalets with their own kitchen and utility room used as staff quarters

• An enclosed hangar of approximately 116 square meters currently being converted into an insectarium – a live insect zoo used for breeding and rearing insects used in laboratory experiments

• A 75 square meter non-consecrated, non-denominational church chapel once used for weddings and now used for meetings and presentations

• A closed workshop of 100 square meters and a partially completed tool shed


• Annex storage buildings and sheds.

The site also has its own water treatment and filtration plant and four 30,000 liter storage tanks – providing laboratory quality drinking water through carbon filters and a UV system. Water is pumped from a stream under a pond on the property.

Ecolibrium Biologicals has a lease on functional parts of the property which currently support its commercial activities – such as the converted stables/research centre, barn, insectarium, lodge and apartment in the lodge. The lease does not currently cover the main house, which is vacant and uninhabitable because it is being renovated, nor the two chalets.

The lodge portion of the property comprises a single-storey, colonial-style Queenslander building made of weatherproof panels and surrounded by a wrap-around veranda and balcony and ample sealed parking.

The outdoor veranda adds some 260 square meters to the overall footprint of the building. The topography of the property includes several terraces cut into the sloping part of the land, the rest of the land being made up of bushes, ponds and paddocks.

The current owner has applied to Auckland Council to split the existing block into two titles. Located approximately 46 kilometers south of central Auckland, the property at 59 Chamberlain Road in Bombay is zoned rural countryside living under the Auckland council plan.

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