One of New Zealand's largest industrial developments on East Tamaki's Waiouru Peninsula, is nearing completion and will provide over 500,000 sq m of warehouse space when finished.
James Spence, director of investment management for Goodman says the Highbrook Business Park covers 108 hectares – with a further 40 hectares set aside as parkland along the water's edge.
"Over 80 per cent complete, the business park is world class and is expected to be worth over $1.5 billion once finished," he says.
Formerly the home of renowned industrialist Sir Woolf Fisher, the once rolling farmland also includes The Crossing, a 12,000 sq m block at the centre of the estate which, when complete will include 122 serviced apartments along with office, retail and convenience space.
Eight new development projects across Auckland were announced last year by Goodman Property Trust, a reflection of the growth of both e-commerce and sophisticated goods handling creating a demand for new approaches in industrial space.
James Spence says since 2004 when the Fisher family selected Goodman to partner with them, the estate has gone from farmland to the home for 85 businesses and a workplace for 5,000 people.
Among the tenants are companies like Office Max, DHL, Ford, Mainfreight and NZ Post.
"It is morphing and changing," says Spence. "Last year we made the decision to build additional high-tech, high-spec warehouses along Highbrook drive, with further office development concentrated at the town centre."
With the high demand, Spence says Goodman has in the last five years increased its emphasis on build-to-lease developments: "This has a shorter lead time and in this strong market, 90 per cent of buildings are leased within six months of completion."
"We have technically advanced fibre optic cabling available to all customers as well as environmentally sustainable design principles incorporated into all the buildings."
While needing to be close to their consumers, logistics companies also demand improved energy efficiencies. To meet this demand Highbrook developments include:
• LED lighting
• Translucent sheeting allowing daylight harvesting and natural light
• Lighting split into zones allowing lighting to be either 50 or 100 per cent
• Low E-type glazing on offices to reduce heat loading and air conditioning costs
• The re-use of crushed concrete and a goal to recycle 75 per cent of the waste on building sites
Over 80 per cent of the 500,000 sq m of rentable space that will ultimately be available at Highbrook is now complete says Spence: "If strong conditions persist, the industrial buildings will largely be done by 2021 with the offices complete in the next five to seven years."
Two development projects currently underway include the construction of 14 new warehouses at The Gateway and Parade. The Gateway, which consists of seven warehouses between 1485 and 6115 sq m, already has two facilities pre-leased while the Parade (units are between 691 and 958 sq m) has one of its seven under contract.
The estate is a multi-award winner. The original master plan won an award from the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2003 while in 2011 Highbrook received the Property Council New Zealand Supreme Award and Award of Excellence in urban land development.
Many of Highbrook's individual buildings have also won property awards including the Ford and CourierPost buildings earning Green Star certification.
But while Highbrook will be one of the largest and most advanced business parks in the country, its location next to the Tamaki River gives the development the unique chance to contribute to the community by vesting around 40 hectares of parkland to the city.
Landscapers keep the bike and walking paths in good condition so workers and nearby residents can enjoy the waterside setting.