Interest is drumming up about the development of a new industrial area in Castlecliff at Mill Rd.

Work is underway to transform the area into an industrial zone for warehouses, manufacturers, and any other industrial players ready to call Mill Rd home.

Rhonda Morris, Whanganui & Partners Strategic Lead Manufacturing, Logistics and Commercial, began working on the project 16 months ago.

She said it's an exciting opportunity for Whanganui to grow, with several businesses showing interest in the location.


"We've got builds going on out there already, we've got people committing to the land and we've got a lot of out of town business,

"The development is probably well over due, we've always relied on the Heads Rd infrastructure to sustain our manufacturing, commercial, and industry area, but we've just rapidly grown and we've got so much more to be able to do in that area."

A large stormwater system installed under Mill Rd to increase drainage capacity as part of the project, while further work to nearby and connected water infrastructure will also take place to improve resiliency in the area.

Upgrades on Mosston Rd are expected to run until October, when contractors will then move to sealing Mill Rd.

Senior Stormwater Engineer Kritzo Venter said the rollout of available sections will be a phased process over time to reflect what interest there is in the area.

"Any work that is a benefit to the wider community would mean some rates funding, but for the actual development work and infrastructure we're putting in the ground, council is basically bankrolling it, using its ability to lend, to invest, then to sell the capacity in the future to developers, so the developer contribution would then reimburse the cost of it in the long run," Venter said.

"If there is an economic downturn, it could be 10 to 15 years and then suddenly it all picks up again, you can still sell that capacity so it's not debt."

It's expected road works will be ongoing, and some traffic management systems will be in place, for the next two to three years.


Morris said it may seem like a long time to some, but the suburb would see strong economic benefits once the industrial area is up and running and filled with new residents.

"It's all very well to say yes we have a piece of land, but when we start talking about industry, commercial, and manufacturing, the infrastructure requirements for those sorts of things are huge and they're much, much different from putting in housing or a shopping mall complex," Morris said.

"Putting the infrastructure in place to create the builds and capacity is a lengthy process, it's not a simple process to go and put all these things down, and it is incredibly time heavy so we have to make sure we tick all the boxes before we move forward,

"It could be perceived as a lengthy process but it's so valuable in order for us to grow."