Key Points:

Seven new buildings worth $118.8 million have been finished this year at the $1 billion Highbrook Business Park in Auckland.

Noel Robinson, chairman of Highbrook Development and Peter Dufaur, Goodman Property Trust's general manager of development, said demand was strong for new buildings in the East Tamaki business park.

Highbrook Development is a three-way business venture 25 per cent owned by New Zealand's Fisher Nominees, 25 per cent owned by ASX-listed Goodman Group of Australia and 50 per cent by NZX-listed Goodman Property Trust in New Zealand.

Robinson is nephew of Sir Woolf Fisher, the philanthropist and co-founder of manufacturer Fisher & Paykel. The Fisher estate was a farm which is now being developed into a 107ha business and distribution centre off the Southern Motorway near Otara.

"Just once a year as chairman of Highbrook, I like to give my views to the market," Robinson said, criticising negative property publicity and saying it was time for better news.

"There are some good news stories as well. It seems to me that bad news is the focus when we have never had it so good."

Dufaur said he had noticed a slight weakening demand for property across-the-board. Highbrook had not felt that yet but the market had certainly changed and risk was being priced into property more, he said.

"Eighteen month ago, you would buy a vacant building for the same price as a tenanted building so buyers were not pricing in risk but that's different now," he said.

Highbrook has commercial, industrial and retail properties and about a third of the site is developed.

About 15,000 people are expected to be employed there when it is finished, making it one of the largest business parks in New Zealand.

Dufaur said the biggest development finished this year was a $35 million 19,000sq m building on Sir Woolf Fisher Drive for OfficeMax which took a 12-year lease.

"OfficeMax, one of the largest wholesalers of office products, has 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," Dufaur said.

A 16,000sq m $27.5 million building was finished for Paperlinx and leased to the business for 12 years.

"Paperlinx is the largest supplier of paper in the New Zealand market and the second biggest importer of containers into New Zealand (8000 a year) behind The Warehouse. Paperlinx has amalgamated several sites into this one facility," he said.

A 10,000sq m $16.7 million building for Geon, is an amalgamation of many smaller print firms including Brebner and Pacific Print.

Robinson said the Australian-owned Geon had shifted to Highbrook from other sites around Auckland and a 12-year lease was negotiated on its new building.

An $11.9 million 8000sq m building was developed for Contract Logistics and leased for nine years.

"This is a joint venture between NZ Post and Deutsche Post and this third party logistics business has relocated from two Mt Wellington premises," Dufaur said.

A $16.6 million 6500sq m building was developed for Datamail and leased for nine years.

"Datamail in the New Zealand Post company specialising in computerised mail runs like billing for Mercury Energy and mail insertion. It has amalgamated four sites into this one building which has 2600sq m in offices and 4500sq m in processing space."

A $6.85 million 3500sq m building was completed for Intermech and leased for eight years.

"Intermech is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Altas Copco and makes world-leading compressed natural gas compressors and associated equipment. Intermech have shifted from a smaller facility in Penrose," Dufaur said.

A $4.25 million building for 300 children was completed for Lollipops child facility. The building has indoor and outdoor play areas and overnight facilities.

Several other large buildings are also going up, he said.

A 22,000sq m $32.2 million building is being developed for Courierpost which has taken a 12-year lease.

"This will be a new southern area main courier depot for Courierpost," Dufaur said.

A $9.85 million 7000sq m building is also being developed for Just Group which has taken a 10-year lease.

The business is shifting from Southpark Place in Penrose because it has outgrown its existing facility in Penrose.

"Just Group is a major clothing retailer incorporating brands such as Just Jeans and Jay Jays," said Dufaur.

A $13.8 million 8000sq m building is being developed for Corporate Express which has signed a 12-year lease.

"Like OfficeMax, Corporate Express is one of the larger global wholesalers of office products. Corporate Express had outgrown its facility in Mt Wellington and is now relocating its head office and distribution functions to Highbrook."

Ford New Zealand has signed a nine-year lease on part of a new 4000sq m building.

The company will occupy a third of the first office building - which will be about 1200sq m - in the Highbrook Drive office precinct, Dufaur said.

"The balance of the building is available for lease. The total cost of this building is $16 million," he said.

Construction on other buildings was due to start soon too, he said.

A $10.5 million 6000sq m building is planned for Blackwoods Paykels which will take a 12-year lease.

Blackwoods Paykels is an engineering products firm owned by Australia's Wesfarmers.

"This premises will incorporate a head office, distribution and showroom functions along with a showroom for another Wesfarmers company NZ Safety," Dufaur said.

A building products manufacturer is expected to sign a 12-year lease on a new $10 million 7000sq m building and a building products importer and wholesaler might also sign on for another 6000sq m building with a projected end value of $10.5 million, he said.

HIGHBROOK WORK
COMPLETED THIS YEAR

* Office Max: 19,000sq m
* Paperlinx: 16,000sq m
* Geon: 10,000sq m
* Contract Logistics: 8000sq m
* Datamail: 6500sq m
* Intermech: 3500sq m
* Lollipops: Building for 300 people

UNDER CONSTRUCTION
* Courierpost: 22,000sq m
* Just Group: 7000sq m
* Corporate Express: 8000sq m
* Ford New Zealand: Part of a 4000sq m building