News & Updates
Highbrook gallops ahead with expansion plans
June 21 st 2011 | By 100-1000 sqm
Seven years ago, a 194ha East Tamaki farm 18km from Auckland's CBD was the Ra Ora horsebreeding stud.
Today, the land has become the award-winning Highbrook Business Park, intersected by the Highbrook Drive motorway.
About 30 office blocks and warehouse/distribution buildings have been developed but eventually the site will have about 80 buildings including carparking blocks.
The land is half owned by NZX listed Goodman Property Trust and a quarter each by Sir Noel Robinson's Fisher Nominees and Australia's Goodman Group.
Robinson is a nephew of Sir Woolf Fisher, the philanthropist and cofounder of manufacturer Fisher & Paykel.
The Fisher estate is now a business and distribution centre off the Southern Motorway near Otara. John Dakin, the trust's chief executive, and Robinson estimated about 3500 to 4000 people work at Highbrook but they anticipate 15,000 people eventually.
The $600 million asset is generating $35 million annual rent but during the next few years it will become a $1.3 billion asset, they said.
Of 194ha, 107ha is to be developed and about 80 buildings will rise. The business park site has 20km of roads worth about $80 million, 12km of coastline, 22km of soft gravel walking tracks and includes the 40ha Highbrook Park.
Of the 80 business tenants, Dakin said 60 per cent were international businesses and links between Goodman Property Trust and the larger Goodman Group were beneficial on this front.
OfficeMax, one of New Zealand's largest office products wholesalers, shifted from four buildings into one purpose-built premises with a head office of more than 4000sq m and a 15,000sq m distribution facility.
Dakin said Goodman contributed to a $70,000 "statement" sculpture which hangs above OfficeMax's reception entry area.
Dakin and Robinson said Auckland Rowing Club might shift to a waterfront site there.
Land will be leased to the club but it must find funds to develop new premises, they said.
This month, Highbrook won the Property Council's supreme award, described as a world-class business park, beating 18 other finalists. "The result of 20 years' planning and effort, Highbrook impressed judges as an internationally competitive development and deemed a very deserving winner," the council said.
The developers kept the original homestead where the late Sir Woolf and Lady Fisher lived.
It was designed by American Arthur Frolich and is now Fisher House Cafe Restaurant and Bar.
"Recognising its strategic location on the Waiouru Peninsula, the Fisher family worked closely with the then Manukau City Council to rezone the land as Business 5 for commercial purposes.
"It will ultimately accommodate 550,000sq m of varying business types including manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, technology, offices and retail, "the Property Council said. The developers worked with Peter Walker Partners to develop the urban design structure of the estate and planning and infrastructure requirements. John Dunn, chief awards judge, praised Highbrook's tireless planning and design, the immense scope of the project, adherence to the master plan, attention to detail and collaboration.
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