Master-planned industrial estates
With escalating land values in New Zealand cities, the industrial property landscape is changing rapidly.
Gritty, utilitarian industrial property has traditionally been located at the margins of urban centres, but those boundaries are inching further and further out as land is rezoned for largely residential housing development.
As Councils have progressively rezoned land and opted for residential intensification in suburbs that were traditionally industrial-focused – particularly those that abut railway lines or main arterials – industrial activity has had to relocate outwards to areas once considered “the countryside”.
This is being seen most clearly in Auckland where suburbs like Avondale, Onehunga and New Lynn are being “gentrified” and where land has an inherent residential development value meaning industrial occupation is not the best and highest use.
In many cases, industrial tenants within formerly industrial-based, centrally-located suburbs, have had to grapple with short lease terms, demolition clauses and uncertainty.
Coupled with this is the shortage and increased cost of industrial land, particularly within established precincts.
Master-planned industrial estates in areas that geographically once seemed a stretch too far for some businesses are springing up in some parts of the country as former rural-zoned land is being opened for industrial development and business activity.
Well-resourced developers are leveraging off infrastructural investment and major upgrades and creating accessible, connected and viable industrial property suitable for those businesses on a growth trajectory.
In many cases, these new industrial hubs are far more than just a cluster of buildings and yards – they’re master-planned nodes with other services and facilities making them almost self-contained for businesses and workers.
Today, decisions on where to base industrial businesses are not solely being made on logistics and price – the quality of the working environment/surrounds and accessibility to labour pools is increasingly important.
Industrial business is moving past the “big shed” mentality. It used to be a matter of finding some bare, flat land with room for big trucks to turn, erecting a big saw tooth structure and expecting workers to congregate outside in the yard for “smoko” breaks.
Savvy business owners are realising that in order to attract good staff and be competitive in the industrial marketplace, finding fit-for-purpose work space in progressive areas is the way to go.
The new industrial precincts or nodes being built are boasting fibre optic cabling, gas connectivity and other key infrastructural services to enable businesses to plan and future-proof their operations with confidence.
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