14 | UPC Group Strong demand for Northgate sites T T Richard Loader Stage Three of Northgate Business Park consists of just over 30 hectares of usable prime industrial real estate. DEVELOPMENT T he third and final stage of Northgate Business Park on the outskirts of Ham- ilton is selling at a far greater rate than expected by its developers. Stage Three consists of just over 30 hectares of usable prime industrial real estate of which 14 hectares has already been sold down with another couple of large lots currently under contract. “That leaves us with about 16 hectares and my guess is they will go quickly,” says Jonny Reid, managing director of UPC Group, North - gate Business Park’s majority stakeholder. “Lots range from about 1ha up to 2.4ha but we have some flexibility with boundaries and also the ability to combine Lots if there’s a larger requirement. “We believe Northgate is very competitively priced at $300 a metre currently. I guess the catalyst for a lot of people wanting to get in and around Northgate is Ports of Auckland being the neighbour and being able to utilise the benefit of rail access from that Ports of Auckland facility which is just around the corner.” With 30 years experience, UPC is a private investment company focused on long term property investment opportunities princi- pally in Auckland, but also throughout New Zealand. A key driver for UPC’s involvement with Northgate, which lies 8-kilometres north if Hamilton, was its close proximity to the Ports of Auckland and Tauranga. “We knew that both the Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga were looking for inland port locations. As it turns out the Port of Auck- land took thirty-three hectares within North - gate Business Park to develop their Waikato Freight Hub, which is now operational. “The other attraction to Northgate was that it straddles the main North Island trunk line. Having rail access was the main appeal to the Ports of Auckland.” Road access is provided to State Highway 1 and the Waikato Expressway. With the Te Rapa, Ngaruawahia, Huntly and Cambridge sections of the expressway complete, the Hamilton bypass section is due for completion towards the end of the year. The roading in- frastructure will provide four-lane expressway access from the Northgate Business Park to Hamilton City and Cambridge in the South and Auckland City in the north. Coupled with the access to rail at Northgate Business Park, businesses will enjoy the best distribution and access opportunity available in the region. “I guess the catalyst for a lot of people wanting to get in and around Northgate is Ports of Auckland being the neighbour and being able to utilise the benefit of rail access from that Ports of Auckland facility which is just around the corner.” In addition to the Ports of Auckland, North - gate Business Park is home to a diverse range of businesses including Waikato Valley Choco - lates, TMC Trailer manufacturing, Northpower and Waikato Milking Systems. “In stage three we have import and distribu- tion businesses, industrial and trade busi- nesses relocating their Waikato offices there, storage facilities, and container depots. “One of the questions asked is where the la- bour is coming from to support the industrial development. “There’s huge residential development in the Waikato at the moment all the way from Ngaruawahia down and there’s a large residential subdivision in Hamilton called Te Awa Lakes that is about to start. All that work will bring in a range of highly skilled and semi skilled labour into the region.” Jonny also makes the observation that the distance between Hamilton and Auckland is getting smaller both geographically and time wise — Hamilton is often referred to as a suburb of Auckland. “Hamilton is moving north and Northgate is testament to that. Also the roading infrastruc- ture has reduced travel times. So labour that commutes from Auckland is not unusual.” A range of options are available to business- es looking to move into Northgate including purchase and design/lease/build which may suit larger corporates preferring not to own the building. “We’ve tried to create as much flexibility as possible. “We’ve taken control of about seven hec- tares within the business park, most of which is in stage three but we have one large 1.6 hectare lot at the main entrance. “The idea is to go to the market, find strong tenants, understand their requirements and build a facility specific to their needs and underpin that with a long-term lease.” Road access is provided to State Highway 1 and the Waikato Expressway, with the Hamilton bypass section of the expressway due for completion towards the end of this year.