Just one Industrial-zoned lot, alongside the Northern motorway section of State Highway 1, remains for sale in the second development stage of the 58ha Highgate Business Park, about 34km north of Auckland's CBD.

"With little industrial land left for development on the North Shore or in Central Silverdale, the focus is now shifting to providing design and build options for tenants," says Rosemary Wakeman of Bayleys North Shore Commercial

Wakeman and colleague Matt Mimmack have been appointed to market a wide variety of leasing options available within the business park.

"Highgate Estate will now be at the centre of much of the region's future industrial building activity," Wakeman says.


"The initial development of the site, the master planning for which began eight years ago, has involved massive earthworks, roading, power, wastewater and stormwater services which have enabled land titles to be issued.

"Numerous sites have been bought by individual owner occupiers and developers, ranging from 2300sq m to a 2.3ha holding that was recently purchased by Mitre 10.

"With the infrastructure and a critical mass of building activity now in place, land owner and developer Highgate Commercial Ltd is concentrating on creating quality warehouse premises for lease," Wakeman says, adding that there will also be opportunities for office, educational and medical developments.

"We are well aware of the frustrations that many business occupants North of the harbour bridge are experiencing in trying to secure new industrial premises and Highgate Commercial is looking to provide tenancy solutions for them," she says.

Highgate Commercial has received resource consent for multiple warehousing developments on around 5ha of land which forms part of the master plan for the next stage of Highgate's development.

There will be design-build solutions aplenty with the standalone warehousing options available, but not limited to, sizes ranging from 1000sq m to 5000sq m on sites of varying sizes.

"The developer has made it clear there will be flexibility to vary the sizes of these design-builds and for tenants to specify the ratios of warehouse to office and/or showroom accommodation required to suit their needs," says Wakeman.

She says the buildings will incorporate features that most tenants are looking for in new industrial premises including clear-span, high-stud warehousing at heights of between 9m to 12.7m as well as large canopies where required.

First stage of development with the Mighty Ape building at left and housing earthworks underway over motorway at Milldale. Photo / Supplied
First stage of development with the Mighty Ape building at left and housing earthworks underway over motorway at Milldale. Photo / Supplied

"They will be built in accordance with Highgate's design covenants that set the guidelines for all development across the site to ensure quality buildings are constructed."

Wakeman says the design-build premises will suit distribution businesses or 'clean' manufacturing. "They are expected to be constructed within 12 months of an unconditional lease being signed between the parties and Highgate Commercial has indicated they will be retaining ownership of them as long-term tenanted investments," she says.

The remaining Industrial-zoned lot for sale encompasses a 5235sq m corner title. This has a resource consent in place for two warehouse buildings of 1250sq m and 1100sq m, although a purchaser could build to their requirements. Alternatively, Highgate Commercial will undertake design-build development to suit a tenant or tenants' needs and retain ownership of the property.

Approximately 20ha of Light Industry zoned land has so far been subdivided with the most recently completed second stage comprising approximately 9ha of land.

Highgate Commercial development manager Jonny Reid says building construction has been completed, is underway or is about to commence on approximately 6ha of this land.

The first buildings to be developed were the Millwater BP service station on the corner of Wainui Road and Highgate Parkway at the entranceway to Highgate and a 10,500sq m distribution centre and head office for retailer Mighty Ape Limited further along Highgate Parkway. This was developed and is owned by NXZ listed property company Argosy.

A variety of other smaller developments have been completed between the northern side of the Mighty Ape building and a large landscaped wetland reserve area which will also be used for storm water treatment.

Smaller leasing options are also available with work underway or nearing completion on several standalone warehouse buildings on Emirali Rd in the Southwestern part of the park.

These include a 16-unit development by Kea Property Group and marketed by Mimmack which sold off the plans within a week.

The warehouse, office and showroom units range in size from 190sq m to 392sq m and come with three to six car parks per unit. "They were very quickly snapped up by a mix of owner-occupiers and investors whom we are assisting to secure tenants," says Mimmack.

Future development land at the Northern end of Highgate with a wetlands reserve on the right. Photo / Supplied
Future development land at the Northern end of Highgate with a wetlands reserve on the right. Photo / Supplied

The predominant zoning at Highgate is Light Industry which comprises about 35ha of the site. Residential land makes up approximately 18.7ha, with 3.7ha of this subdivided to date for 107 dwellings that are now occupied. A further 200 homes are planned along the Southern ridge of Highgate facing the Weiti River.

The balance of land has been zoned for a town centre. "This has been earth worked as part of the bulk earthworks for the wider subdivision and various options are being considered under the master planning for this area of the site, although nothing has been finalised," says Reid.

Neighbouring Highgate, to the East, is the Millwater residential development which is nearly built-out and encompassing 3500 homes. Expansive earthworks are also underway for the building of 2000 houses on the other side of the motorway at Milldale. A total of 4500 dwellings are planned for this area, expected to house around10,000 residents.

This is first stage of what is expected to be a huge urbanisation of the vast expanse of land stretching from Dairy Flat in the South, to Orewa in the North, alongside SH1. The Auckland Future Land Use Strategy identifies it as an area which will house an additional 35,000 dwellings. New residential development will also continue on the Eastern side of the SH1 motorway, including on the former Peninsula Golf Course and on land at Orewa North, Jack Hawken Lane, and near Snow Planet, as well as at Highgate.

Reid says Highgate has an important role to play in providing much needed commercial and industrial space for businesses to service the area's rapidly expanding population. "The Government's upper North Island port study and regional growth initiatives will also likely see more activity at Whangarei, which opens up more possibilities for Highgate."

Roading improvements are also being planned to improve access to and from Highgate. A new motorway overpass is proposed to connect Milldale with Highgate which will link up with Highgate Parkway just south of the Mighty Ape building.

There is also a proposal to extend Highgate Parkway Southwards to connect Highgate to the Hibiscus Highway via a proposed bridge over the Weiti River which flows behind Pak'nSave and Bunnings stores.

"All this means Highgate is well positioned to service the region's commercial needs, but space is tightening so we would advise tenants not to delay in registering their interest," says Wakeman.