Future-proofed and sophisticated industrial and warehouse facilities in big demand.

We've all heard about the desperate need for more housing in Auckland – but few people know that current supply of Auckland land for industrial development could be exhausted in three to five years.

That's important because all those houses being built contain people who need jobs – and providing premises for industrial companies supplying jobs and goods for that growing population is just as challenging.

So Goodman is now turning to re-developing and re-purposing existing sites in places such as Penrose and Mount Wellington.

In that context, industrial properties and warehousing are changing just as rapidly as housing options are broadening in Auckland. Michael Gimblett, General Manager of Developments for Goodman (NZ) Limited*, says current and future developments are re-shaping old thinking and methods – including redevelopment of existing, centrally located sites.

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Goodman announced eight new projects in the 2017 financial year, some 31,000 sq m of property worth $97 million. This year, that will grow to $165m and over 60,000 sq m of new industrial space, bringing Goodman's total portfolio to $2.6 billion – over 1m sq m of rentable area for around 240 customers.

Gimblett says the growth of both e-commerce and sophisticated goods handling has created a demand that needs new approaches.

"We've built around 20-25 per cent of the new warehouse space in Auckland over the last five years and still have plenty of supply coming on," says Gimblett. "With positive net migration in Auckland, businesses will continue to expand and we can meet their growth."

Re-purposed sites close to consumers, with enhanced industrial land values, could see multi-storey warehouses built in the future. Goodman has significant experience of such buildings in its Asian operations (Japan has warehouses four storeys high while Hong Kong's are higher – one has 24 storeys). Warehouses are also being configured to accommodate robotic goods handling and buildings future-proofed.

"We need to be open to these things," says Gimblett. "With a long-term investment horizon, we look 10-20 years out."

Another trend Goodman's noticed in markets like Sydney is the integration of industrial and residential neighbourhoods – modern industrial uses are not as 'dirty' as they traditionally were.

"We're global experts in logistics space," says Gimblett. "We're not building to sell, we're always thinking long term. That means from the location, initial design through to how we manage our assets into the future, the quality of our buildings reflects the quality of our customers; they're well-known and well-performing businesses."

That quality involves elements like energy saving fit-outs with LED lighting, high spec windows to harness natural light, efficient heating and cooling systems, adaptable buildings and a range of property sizes so that, as customers' businesses grow, Goodman can support their expansion.

Increasingly properties have recharging stations for electric cars and employee end-of-trip facilities (storage for bikes, showers). New sites such as the state-of-the-art Highbrook, at East Tamaki, are master-planned and landscaped to the standard of an upscale housing estate, with campus-like common areas, amenities such as cafes, gyms, child care, hotels, office and conference centres.

In recent years, Goodman has sharpened its focus on key industrial areas around Auckland's arterial transport routes, divesting older assets to fund development in the gateway city.

"Three years ago our portfolio was around 70 per cent industrial, 30 per cent office," says Gimblett. "Today that's 90 per cent industrial, 10 per cent office. We've re-purposed that capital into the Auckland industrial market.

Logistics and e-commerce clients need to be close to main arterial routes and close to end-users for the speed and efficiency of that 'last mile' delivery consumers now expect. Gimblett says Auckland's infamous congestion means increasing demand for multi-modal transport hubs and the company's latest projects respond to that.

Otahuhu's Savill Link, between State Highways 1 and 20, has access to rail while Henderson's Selwood Units at Concourse Park have swift airport access via SH20's Waterview Tunnel. Highbrook is just off the southern motorway.

*Goodman (NZ) Limited is the manager of the NZX-listed Goodman Property Trust.

To find out more, visit : http://nz.goodman.com/