Auckland University's $1 billion decade-long property push is in full swing at Newmarket where many brewery structures, buildings and view-blocking fences have come down.

But a monster building left standing towards the west or Auckland City Hospital end of the largely vacant 5.2ha site is getting a makeover with a new pitched roof.

University property services director Peter Fehl said work was busy at the former Lion Breweries site where postgraduate engineering students will move towards the end of next year.

"The large building at the west of the site is being totally reclad," Fehl said.


"The roof is being raised to provide a steeper pitch for maintenance purposes and the external walls are being reclad. One mezzanine will be added but no new floors other than that."

Refurbishment work was proceeding well and demolition was almost complete.

"Work on the internal fitout for the various Faculty of Engineering research groups has also commenced and siteworks and landscaping around these buildings is due to get underway early next year," he said.

"The demolition of the old Lion Brewery buildings to the east is complete. Work will start on a new research building just east of the refurbished warehouses next year with all work due to be completed in 2014."

The university spent $67 million buying the Newmarket site and is spending $86 million on creating a new campus there.

The $1 billion earmarked for the main central city site and Newmarket is coming from borrowing, fees and university income and plans are in place to extend revenue-generating external research in the next few years.

A big expansion of the engineering faculty is also planned.