In our leading questions series, Kiwi businesspeople discuss the year just gone and what will impact them in 2019. Completion of the $1 billion Commercial Bay is a hallmark for Precinct Properties and its chief executive Scott Pritchard.
What is 2019 looking like for your business?
2019 is arguably going to be the biggest year so far for our business. The completion of exciting projects like Commercial Bay are real milestones that we have all been working on for many years. Seeing this come to fruition is going to be exciting, satisfying and rewarding for Auckland as well as for our business.
As the development stages of these projects come to an end, we're looking forward to getting started on our next phase of projects at Wynyard Quarter, One Queen Street and Bowen Campus.
It's also an exciting time to be involved in commercial property. People are fundamentally changing the way they work, live and socialise in the city centre and we're excited to be part of that.
How is that different to 2018? How has the last year been for your business?
Our business had a huge focus on leasing and development. 2019 will see all that work pay off – we're looking forward to welcoming Aucklanders to Commercial Bay. I still truly believe people will be positively surprised by what is coming and how good Auckland's city centre will be.
What are the issues affecting your industry in the next 12 months?
Construction and the demands on this industry continue to be a big issue in property development. We are seeing continued increases in costs which is making development more difficult to undertake. On the flip side, this underpins valuations so can have an indirect positive impact on our business.
The general uncertainty of a range of reviews such as the Tax Working Group will also have an impact on our business. Business prospers when there is certainty so we're hoping that the business community is offered greater certainty in 2019 than what was offered during 2018.
What is the biggest issue you would like the Government to champion in 2019?
I think there has been some really good work completed by the Government over the last 12 months. Their commitment to prioritise investment in infrastructure is critical for New Zealand's future success, even though it will place more pressure on the construction industry.
Auckland's growth presents a number of challenges but also some great opportunities. I would like to see central and local government working together constructively to maximise these opportunities.
Do you get a break this summer? What's your favourite way to relax?
Yes, I'll be spending time with family and friends in the Coromandel and hopefully spending a lot of time in the water enjoying a great summer break.