Park life

Park life

Total Property - Issue 2 2019

Astute operators are securing premises in progressive, future-proofed industrial business parks where the emphasis is on collegiality, shared spaces, infrastructural benefits, logistical efficiencies and quality of work-play life.

It’s not just a big-city phenomenon – with industrial park developments in Waikato, Tauranga, Hawke’s Bay, Cromwell and Nelson helping to meet occupier demand.

Total Property heads to three leading parks where owners and tenants are leveraging off locational, recreational and commercial advantages to streamline business operations and gain efficiencies.

From horse stud to business hub

Occupying 107 hectares, with 100 businesses in 450,000m2 of lettable business space and a value approaching $1.5 billion, Highbrook Business Park in East Tamaki, Auckland, is a bold foray into world-class, mixed-use development.

Formerly the site of the Ra Ora horse stud, home to the late Sir Woolf and Lady Joyce Fisher, the concept was developed by their nephew, Sir Noel Robinson, who later partnered with Goodman (NZ).

Highbrook took East Tamaki’s industrial footprint to a new level, fully leveraging its location within 20 kilometres of the port and airport, motorway links and proximity to a large labour force.

John Dakin, chief executive officer for Goodman, says a consistent design theme with extensive landscaping and recreational areas creates a campus feel for its 5,000-plus workforce.

Development began in 2004, and early commitment from customers including DHL and NZ Post was a catalyst for success, according to Dakin.

He says the ability to offer design-build solutions with built-in growth potential makes sound business sense.

“The flexibility of the design makes these facilities extremely adaptable and they can be reconfigured to suit a range of occupiers or easily upgraded to accommodate changing technology.”

A sense of community has been created, with some businesses choosing to locate near suppliers or partners for supply chain efficiencies.

“With business support providers, banking and postal services, childcare, conference facilities, serviced accommodation, bars and cafes, convenience retail, gym and recreational options, it’s a self-contained development,” says Dakin.

Taking flight

The master-planned Landing Business Park in the Auckland Airport precinct is being developed by Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL).

There’s 150 hectares earmarked for development, around 30 hectares of which will be planted to create parkland with walking, running and mountain bike trails.

The Landing is approximately 40 percent built-out and the balance of land is the largest development-ready tract in central/south Auckland.

Daniel Byrne, property development manager for AIAL, says The Landing evolved out of AIAL’s desire to create a leading mixed-use business park with high amenity for employees and visitors.

Businesses operating here are mainly high-value cargo and logistics operators, aeronautical related-operations and logistics activities requiring proximity to the runway/air cargo.

“Businesses have been locating or relocating their warehouse/distribution/manufacturing functions and head office operations to airport land for ease of day-to-day management.

“You’ll find high-quality architecture, generous building set-backs, empathetic landscaping, prohibition of on-road parking for safety and aesthetic reasons, high levels of public recreational amenity, green spaces, hospitality offerings and an upgraded axial roading framework.”

The availability of large tracts of development land enables sites to be developed that meet tenants’ exact requirements, says Byrne.

High amenity provided by hotels, retail, and hospitality options, and connectivity to New Zealand and the world through Auckland Airport and roading links, sets The Landing apart.

Industrial park with the works

Waterloo Business Park has evolved on the former site of the Islington Freezing Works on Christchurch’s city fringe.

The 114 hectare site has morphed from “The Works” – a pioneering industrial powerhouse in its time – to a world-class precinct offering all the extras.

The park caters for businesses from warehousing, distribution and production through to office and retail tenants.

Some figures to consider: 26 kilometres to the port; 9.7 kilometres to the airport; 12.6 kilometres to the CBD; $30 million investment in state-of-the-art infrastructure and total investment of $400 million over five to seven years.

John Sax, executive director of the developers, Southpark Corporation, says business parks are about people and must be conducive to a productive, engaged workforce.

Southpark engaged Overland Partners from San Antonio to assist in conceptual design work. Selecting the right local consulting team to consolidate those concepts allowed Southpark to deliver with in-built provision for an increasingly technological future.

While tenants committing to the park can leverage off more cost-effective utilities, communal facilities and ultra-high speed internet, Sax believes its greatest offering is an environment conducive to retaining and attracting the best staff.

“We will be establishing wonderful cafes, boutique breweries and great markets in the historic precinct which will all go to cement the desirability of work and play at this destination.

“The smokestack industries of yesterday are gone and in their place are parks, cycleways, attractive streetscapes, landscaping, and family-friendly environments which are just as important as high-capacity future rail provisions and high-quality infrastructure.”

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