Since launching to the market in May, six units in Triumph Capital's innovative new industrial development on the site of Onehunga's former woollen mill, are under contract.

The Woollen Mills development at 273 Neilson Street, on the Penrose-Onehunga border, is being sold down from the plans.

Comprising 26 freehold units, the development is emerging on a 2.8 hectare site that was more recently home to the Cavalier Bremworth woollen mills, but which has been part of the wool manufacturing industry since the late-1880s.

The architecturally-designed industrial complex will pay homage to this important social and economic history through its saw-toothed roofing profile which mimics the style of the original structures on the site.

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Construction is already well-advanced with tilt slabs in place and the roof going on in the next couple of weeks. The project is expected to be completed mid-to-late next year.

The development is being marketed by negotiation through Scott Campbell, Sunil Bhana, James Hill and James Valintine of Bayleys Auckland and the interest to date has been evenly split between owner-occupiers and investors.

Campbell says the volume of interest and the upfront early commitment received since the launch four months ago is an endorsement of both the location and the strength of the broader industrial market.

"The supply of industrial property for sale right across the Auckland region has been squeezed in recent years and this is the first new, purpose-built industrial development in Onehunga for decades.

"This project raises the bar for urban industrial hubs and forward-thinking owner-occupiers and investors are recognising the uniqueness of the offering, with feedback and early commitment reinforcing the developer's instinct that this is the sort of stock that the market is crying out for."

The high-specification two-storey terraced office and warehouse units range in size from 371sqm to 1,021sqm with each having exclusive container set-down areas, and five to sixteen dedicated staff and customer-allocated carparking areas
depending on the size of the unit.

Campbell says that with construction advancing on-schedule, he expects enquiry levels to surge now that interested parties can see the development's form emerging and can get a sense of how it could work for individual businesses.

In a market constrained by a lack of available and accessibly-priced industrial property for sale, the smaller entry-level units are striking a chord with owner-occupiers looking to secure a presence in the popular Penrose-Onehunga area.

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Sunil Bhana says with the low interest rate environment and the fast-changing property landscape, businesses are keen to have some control over their premises and so are opting to buy themselves a base rather than being at the whim of a landlord.

"There are enough logistical challenges in the industrial sector today without adding locational uncertainty into the mix," he says.

"This is a tried-and-true, dependable location with solid underlying credentials and good infrastructure."

The investor market is also recognising the advantages of new, purpose-built units which will allow hands-off investment and appeal to a broad range of tenant businesses.

As an area, Penrose-Onehunga is shaking off its traditional gritty heavy industrial mantle and undergoing use changes across the property sectors thanks to provisions within Council's planning directives.

"There are a number of apartment developments underway and with Onehunga Wharf now officially under the ownership of Auckland Council's development agency, Panuku Development Auckland, we understand that there are multi-million dollar plans afoot to revitalise the wharf area in to a mixed-use zone," says Bhana.

The Woollen Mills development has good arterial access Auckland-wide with State Highway 1 around two kilometres to the east giving access to the north and south of Auckland, and State Highway 20 just a kilometre to the west allowing connection to west Auckland and linking back into the CBD.