Archive | Isthmus east

TR Group pays $4 million for adjoining 6.6ha in Mt Wellington

TR Group Ltd (Ron & Andrew Carpenter) has bought the 6.6ha greenfields block at 791 Great South Rd, Mt Wellington, for $4 million to expand its neighbouring business.

The purchase gives the company more than 10ha for its 3 businesses – TCL Isuzu Ltd’s sales yard for Isuzu trucks, TR Group’s truck & trailer rental & leasing operation and Acrow Ltd’s scaffolding, falsework, formwork & event seating hire operations.

Colliers International industrial broker Charles Cooper (left) said more than 200 inquiries were taken on the site and 15 bids, 8 unconditional, were received for the undeveloped property –  the last piece of bare land in Auckland’s blue chip industrial belt.

Interest came from land & building developers, institutions wanting to land bank and owner occupiers.

The property was put on the market as part of a deceased estate and Mr Cooper said it was the most interesting he had worked on because of the large number of issues associated with it, from access, filling, rail easements, potential contamination & usability of the site.

TR Group is the biggest truck & trailer leasing business in New Zealand, with 2200 vehicles on the road, and managing director Andrew Carpenter said the company intended developing the property for its own use.

“We are running out of room. The business has been growing at 50% compound annually for the past 5 years,” he said.

TR Group hopes to begin using the site within 6 months, but first has to negotiate a new access after council realignment of Great South Rd removed the old access last year. The company also needs consent to fill the property.

Mr Cooper wasn’t surprised at how fast the property sold: “The site sits in the middle of the sought-after Penrose-Mt Wellington industrial area, where land is scarce and the few sites left are tightly held by developers or owner occupiers.”

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Tunnel out as preferred eastern corridor unveiled

Auckland’s Eastern Transport Corridor Steering Group recommended today that the proposed 27km route from Manukau to downtown Auckland take the cheaper Hobson Bay route instead of a tunnel under Parnell.

The decision will be taken by Auckland City Council in June.

The2 mayors promoting the corridor, John Banks of Auckland & Sir Barry Curtis of Manukau, said the cost of the 10-year project would get down to about $2.5 billion – a $1 billion cut.

They said the first stage, from Botany to Pakuranga Plaza, across the Panmure bridge to a Panmure transport interchange, would cost up to $400 million, and work on that could start in mid-2006.

Sir Barry continues to favour network tolling as an intergenerational mechanism to pay for this & other infrastructure projects, and promoted it again today. But the steering group’s chairman, Auckland City councillor Greg McKeown, was more circumspect, saying funding methods hadn’t been finally determined.

Mr Banks said the Auckland City Council had $260 million available for 8 projects, and said he & Sir Barry would step out and raise the funds to ensure the corridor project proceeds.

There was no financing detail more precise than that.

The finalised route & transport modes on that route, and the staging of it, will go to the transport committees of the 2 councils in June (Auckland ) & July (Manukau).

The steering group’s indicative timetable now is:

Resolution of major issues, April-November
Determine options for securing the corridor & development of a property strategy, April-August
Determine staging options & prioritisation, April-November
Revised memorandum of understanding, August
First stage funding, November-February 2005
First stage development (consents, design, land acquisition, construction-related funding, tendering), February 2005-mid 2006
First stage construction, start mid-2006.

As well as favouring the Hobson Bay route, the steering group also recommended today:

The Kepa Rd, Mt Wellington Quarry & Farm Cove alignments be formally discarded
The alignments proposed by Opus Consultants be adopted as the preferred alignments, subject to a number of issues
The Allens Rd route through East Tamaki be investigated further as a long-term option
The proposed first stage include a range of public transport & roading improvements in the Glen Innes, Panmure & Pakuranga areas
Rail be adopted as the preferred public transport link from Panmure to Britomart (so there will be no bus lanes on the stretch across Hobson Bay)
The best means of protecting the preferred route be reported to the steering group in July (this to include property purchase, designation & consenting, & legislative alternatives)
Work on the role of traffic demand management & road pricing be progressed & reported to the steering group in July.Cllr McKeown said starting around Panmure-Pakuranga made sense because it would support community & economic plans for the area.

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The sun comes up in the east… and other strange stories about the Lunn Ave quarry

When regional councillors get down to discussing which way the sun comes up, how shadows in the old Winstone quarry at Mt Wellington will be disastrous for a housing development, and commercial development would be better, it really is time to go back to the chicken coop to find another batch.

I sat in amazement during the Auckland Regional Council strategic policy committee’s discussion today on the proposed partial settlement of Landco Ltd (Greg Olliver)’s Environment Court appeal on Auckland City Council’s proposed plan change 7.

Approval of the settlement by both the city council (as respondent) & regional council (as a party) would pave the way for development on part of the 110ha quarry site, but leave certain key issues still to be worked through.

Regional councillors arrived at their meeting unprepared to make a simple decision, asked irrelevant questions, didn’t get the right answer to a simple question, put off their decision-making until they’d made a site visit (possibly on Tuesday 18 May) and finished as confused as they started.

Hadn’t been before ARC before – Oh?

Some believed the Landco proposal hadn’t been before the regional council, that perhaps it had been considered at the Regional Growth Forum. But the regional council is party to an Environment Court appeal on the quarry development. How, they might have asked themselves, could that possibly be?

The proposal before councillors today was for rezoning in specific parcels, including 27ha as residential B. Auckland City’s new residential 8 zone allows for integrated development with a maximum density of one unit:100m².

The areas designated on a Landco conceptual master plan (which says it’s not for resource consent purposes) as residential 8 bask in sunshine all day. They sit between Mt Wellington (the mountain) and the quarry edge along College Rd (the Remuera side of the quarry), away from the Lunn Ave quarry face.

Cllr Bill Burrill expressed concern that residential development would occur in the shadow of the Lunn Ave-College Rd quarry wall, explaining that the sun mostly rose in the east, tracked to the north & lobbed in to the west. He compared this development area to a parcel of land beside the North-western Motorway where the houses are put in shadow by a church. His statements went uncontested.

I pointed out to several councillors during a break (after this item was finished) that St Joseph’s (church & school) on Great North Rd, Grey Lynn, is north to north-east of those houses, whereas the quarry walls at Mt Wellington are in the south-west corner of the quarry site. Item finished, no return to it.

Maps pointing north

For this article I have produced 3 maps (2 above; like the photos, click on the thumbnail maps to enlarge them), one of the quarry, one showing the quarry in relationship to Auckland’s central business district (top left of that map) and surrounding suburbs (Remuera & St Johns to the west, Ellerslie west, Panmure south-east, Auckland University’s Tamaki campus north-east, playing fields & the new netball complex north), and the 3rd map showing St Joseph’s & the North-western Motorway. All maps have north at the top.

Photos in this article were taken on 22 March, some showing considerable earthworks under way. That work has continued, but the photos illustrate the site and its context of mountain (east from Lunn Ave), eastern suburbs to the cbd, the quarry lake that Landco wants to remove and the quarry walls.

Landco bought the quarry (105ha at the time) from quarry operator Winstone Ltd’s owners, Fletcher Challenge Ltd and Brierley Investments Ltd, for $38 million in 2001. It has since recouped much of its payment by selling developed subdivision land back to Fletcher Building Ltd.

Auckland City councillors have discussed progress on moves to a plan change agreement in confidential agenda items over the past 2 months, but the regional council had the item on its open agenda today. According to the agenda report before regional councillors, Landco wanted the settlement agreement approved so it could file a partial consent order with the Environment Court by mid-May.

Report set matters out

Policy analyst Jackie Bell said in her report the partial consent would allow staging, and that Landco would apply to rezone the rest of the site under a Resource Management Act process which the company & city council agreed should be notified.

The overall quarry proposal is for 3000 residential units occupied by an estimated 8000 people (the standard national occupancy rate of about 2.7 persons/dwelling, an average of 28 units/ha).

2 issues of concern related to water flows. Ms Bell said it was appropriate to ensure development didn’t adversely affect the Waiatarua wetland, which traditionally received quarry water pumped through after being improved to stormwater quality.

Secondly, part of the quarry would flood without disposal, and Ellerslie, Panmure & Penrose could also be subjected to flowing.

There was a hint that everything was under control, a disposal agreement was being worked out, but regional councillors didn’t ask for a fuller explanation of where those negotiations had reached and what effect rezoning without a disposal agreement would have.

Ms Bell said development under the partial consent order could be done under the existing consent. She said Landco was preparing a catchment management plan & stormwater consent application for the whole site, to be submitted to the regional council in mid-July. Council land & water quality staff had reviewed the partial consent order and were satisfied, she said.

City council consent manager there to answer questions

Karen Bell, resource management manager for the city council, told Cllr Burrill a ramp up to College Rd was still there and might yet provide access to the development (it’s being used by earthworks vehicles). She said a contractor was about to undertake stormwater solutions and would work with regional council staff on the catchment management plan.

Councillors were sceptical that Tamaki railway station would be moved, as suggested, before residents moved into the quarry, but didn’t raise detailed questions about other public transport. “This development will have public transport into it the moment the first homes are occupied,” Karen Bell said.

Regional council chairman Gwen Bull said the council couldn’t support the plan change because there were too many unanswered questions.

Cllr Sandra Coney said she looked at the whole thing “with horror: It just looks like a ghetto to me. Other things should have been considered before residential. The whole design [she was referring to the concept plan’s streetscape] is completely bizarre.

“The open spaces are all at the bottom of the quarry wall and they’ve got apartments between [less dense] residential & the quarry wall. It’s all to maximise somebody’s profit and not for good living.”

Commercial? That was squashed in 2000

I suggested to Cllr Coney during the break (after this agenda item was completed)  that her belief that the quarry should be developed for commercial use came 3 years too late, seeing the city council had rejected the previous commercial proposal in 2000 and worked hard to encourage a residential development, with a small shopping precinct.

Land use in the whole eastern area beyond St Johns to the Tamaki River is changing – Auckland University’s Tamaki Campus, co-location (public-private partnerships) & Innovation Park, likely change in time of the container storage area & nearby light industrial zone, upgrading of the Glen Innes & Panmure shopping centres.

The city council, the Regional Growth Forum and the regional council as a party to the growth forum’s central area agreement all know – or are in the position of having knowledge staring at them – about these changes & relationships between them.

So, in short, the performance of this regional strategic policy committee amazed me, especially towards the end of a 3-year term.

Committee chairman Cllr Ian Bradley, who tried to work up a recommendation the committee would agree to, finally got agreement on telling Landco & the city council of their concerns, deferring a decision until the committee had made a site visit, and pencilling in that site visit for Tuesday 18 May. Timing of the decision was not mentioned.

Earlier stories:

17 July 2001: Landco buys Lunn Ave quarry

13 November 2000: Council rejects private quarry zone change

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Deloitte says tolls can’t be sole eastern corridor solution

Deloitte Corporate Finance said in a report on tolling for the proposed eastern transport corridor it would require a $250 million annual subsidy.

The feasibility of using tolling as a source of funding for the Eastern Transport Corridor is the subject of a Deloitte Corporate Finance report released by the Eastern Transport Corridor Steering Group today.

Councillor Greg McKeown, Eastern Transport Corridor Steering Group chairman, says the Deloitte report is useful in providing a view on the level of contribution road tolling could make along the length of the corridor and will assist in making a recommendation on a preferred way forward for the project.

Internationally public private partnership arrangements do not involve all components of mixed transport modes.  They do not seek to fund public transport which is publicly subsidised or land purchase as land remains in public hands.

The report concluded a $1.2 billion toll road component of the corridor could be debt-funded, but the extent of subsidy meant it was unlikely to be funded as a privately financed toll-funded public private partnership (PPP).

Deloitte presented an option that would include $1 to cross Panmure & Pakuranga bridges and a total trip cost of $2.90/car for the entire length of the corridor.

That would generate 45% ($540 million) of the cost of building the toll-road component. If the whole $1.2 billion cost was to be debt-funded by tolls, a total trip from Manukau Central to Auckland’s central business district would cost $5.40.

Deloitte’s scenarios were based on a 35-year concession to the toll road operator.

Tolling estimates excluded land costs estimated at $900 million, passenger transport-related costs & ongoing road maintenance costs.

Eastern Transport Corridor steering group chairman Greg McKeown, who chair’s Auckland City Council’s transport committee, said the steering group would look at the Opus, Berl & Deloitte reports this month then make recommendations to the Auckland & Manukau City Councils and Transit NZ.

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Residential 8 plan change notified this Sunday

Auckland City Council’s plan change 59, introducing the residential 8 zone to the Jellicoe-Pilkington Rd area of Panmure, will be publicly notified on Sunday 25 April. Submissions close on Monday 24 May.

The plan change relates to the area bounded by Pleasant View, Jellicoe & Pilkington Rds and including Green & Dunn Rds.

Plan change 59 restricts new buildings in the area to a maximum of 2 storeys or 8m and has special requirements for recognition of the local environment. The Jellicoe-Pilkington area is the only residential area identified in Panmure’s Future for rezoning to Residential 8.

The plan change follows development of the Panmure Liveable Community plan, contained in the document Panmure’s Future, which the council adopted in 2002 after extensive public consultation.  It’s designed to revitalise the area & accommodate population growth. 

As one of the city’s areas of change in the council’s growth management strategy, Panmure’s population is expected to grow by up to 2400 people before 2021.

Projects related to the Liveable Community plan that already have the green light include the town centre street upgrade & a new railway station. Parking & view protection studies are also under way.

Cllr Sherryl McKelvie said the Liveable Community plan aimed to breathe new life into Panmure by revitalising its town centre & providing quality housing of good urban design.

“The longer-term social & economic future of Panmure and town centres like it depend on these initiatives. In Panmure we will be active in protecting the essential character of the town by urban design requirements & streetscape improvements,” Cllr McKelvie said.

Council website: Panmure’s Future

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Council notifies Penrose Quarry plan change

Auckland City Council’s regulatory & fixtures subcommittee has recommended that Fulton Hogan Ltd’s proposed private plan change to rezone most of the 12.2ha Penrose Quarry, off Harrison Rd, Penrose, be publicly notified.


Fulton Hogan wants to change the 11.74ha main quarry pit area’s zoning from business 4 to residential 8a & open space 2.


Activity at the quarry has ceased and Fulton Hogan is due to start filling it in as part of the rehabilitation process specified in the resource consent the council granted in 1998.


The plan change (plan modification 148) was notified on Sunday 18 April. Submissions close with the city council on Monday 17 May.


Fulton Hogan wants to provide for a comprehensive & integrated residential development in conjunction with the rehabilitation programme. The advent of plan change 71 meant such a development in the business 4 zone was no longer allowed.


The Fulton Hogan proposal is for lot sizes down to 300m² on parts of the site, with some areas of 150m² lot sizes. Maximum development would enable 230 units but the current plan contains 123 lots.


Full details of the plan change proposal are on the council’s website.

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Macquarie Goodman trusts buy Otahuhu workshops for $130 million industry park

The Macquarie Goodman Property & Industrial Trusts have agreed to jointly acquire the 26.5ha Otahuhu railway workshops site for $34.4 million, to develop into a $130 million industry park over the next 5 years.

It’s the first co-ownership deal since the property trust’s unitholders agreed to the co-ownership arrangement on 23 March. Macquarie Goodman Management Ltd, listed in Australia, took control of the Colonial First State Property Trust in December, renaming it as the Macquarie Goodman Property Trust. The Macquarie Goodman Industrial Trust, also listed in Australia, had already built up a substantial New Zealand portfolio and agreed to pool its New Zealand assets with the Property Trust’s (excluding some which were put on the market).

The site is between James Fletcher Drive on the northern Manukau Harbour (Mangere Inlet) side, and near Massey Rd & the main trunk Mangere station on the southern side. It’s also near both the Southern & South-western Motorways and Great South Rd.

The 2 trusts will enter into a marketing agreement with Auckland-based property company Willis Bond & Co (Malcolm McDougall & Mark McGuinness), which will get half the profits over independent valuations plus a 25 basis point margin.

The land price of 130/m² would allow for lower rental cost alternatives that cater for the demands of customers requiring 5-20,000m² of space. The medium-term plan is for 120,000m² of development, with a $130 million end value.

Macquarie Goodman (NZ) Ltd chief executive John Dakin said the trusts intended to develop the site in several stages, and the first stage would deliver a yield exceeding 9.5%.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the Overseas Investment Commission and of Macquarie Goodman Property Trust’s trustee.

Mr Dakin said this acquisition would build on the industrial trust (and Willis Bond)’s success at The Gate Industry Park in Penrose, where the latest commitments are from Recall and Norman Ellison. The Gate is now 70% precommitted, with a weighted average lease term of 7 years.

Macquarie Goodman Property Trust will get a 50% interest in those 2 new facilities for about $5.8 million under the co-ownership arrangement, with settlement scheduled on practical completion. The final purchase price will be determined by independent formal valuations.

Other stories: 2 more sign up for The Gate

Macquarie Goodman trusts buy railway workshops, sign 2 Gate deals

Earlier stories: Macquarie Goodman pooling deal approved

Units sell at 94c at Macquarie Goodman takeover gets OK

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2 more sign up for The Gate

Macquarie Goodman has scored 2 new tenants for The Gate Industry Park in Penrose, which it announced today along with the purchase of the former Otahuhu railway workshops site.

The latest commitments at The Gate are from Recall and Norman Ellison. The Gate is now 70% precommitted, with a weighted average lease term of 7 years.

Macquarie Goodman Property Trust will get a 50% interest in those 2 new facilities for about $5.8 million under its co-ownership arrangement with the Macquarie Goodman Industrial Trust, with settlement scheduled on practical completion. The final purchase price will be determined by independent formal valuations.

Recall’s facility is a 5300m² purpose-built warehouse with a unique clearance height of 23 metres.

Recall has committed to a 15-year lease with fixed annual reviews of 3%. Its annual net starting rent will be $600,000. Recall will also pay ground rent on 3400m² of expansion land.

Recall is a wholly owned subsidiary of leading global support services group Brambles.

Norman Ellison will lease a new 4600m² facility for an initial term of 9 years with an option for a further 6 years. The net annual starting rent is $400,000.

Norman Ellison Carpets Ltd (Warwick Norman & Russell Harding) is a privately owned company that specialises in the production of tufted wool, wool blend & synthetic carpets.

Macquarie Goodman trusts buy Otahuhu workshops for $130 million industry park

Macquarie Goodman trusts buy railway workshops, sign 2 Gate deals

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Sylvia Park Rd intersection work completed by July

Major improvements to the intersection of Great South Rd & Sylvia Park Rd, Mt Wellington, and an extension of the bridge over the rail tracks are to be completed by July.

Auckland City Council transport committee chairman Greg McKeown said significant design changes had been made since design work was first commissioned in 2000, some of them taking into account gas, water & electricity service requirements through the area. The traffic management plan was also reworked.

Cllr McKeown said the changes wouyld cost the council $640,000 more, but an economic analysis indicated the work would result in a $20 million saving in crash-related costs over 25 years.

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Sand replenishment a possibility for 8 more city beaches

Auckland City Council is considering rebuilding up to 8 beaches on its 2 harbours.

A preliminary report got strong support from the council’s transport committee on Wednesday.

The report named Pt England Reserve, Pt Chevalier, Herne Bay, Home Bay, Sentinel Reserve, St Heliers, Blockhouse Bay & Taylor’s Reserve as suitable for the work.

The idea follows the decision to pump sand on to Kohimarama Beach, after the council decided in October 2002 urgent work was needed to protect that beach’s sea wall and sand replenishment was selected as a solution.

St Heliers beach has been earmarked as a priority for more sand for the same reason.

The council’s city planning group is preparing a citywide coastal management strategy which includes the potential benefits from sand replenishment, and Urban Solutions presented a progress report on Wednesday.

With a combination of roading, stormwater, engineering & recreational issues involved, the report will go to the council’s combined committees meeting in June.

Urban Solutions estimated the 8-beach programme would cost about $5 million in sand, plus design & related engineering costs, like stormwater improvements.

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