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Lack of space inspires development

Liki Udam Aug 8
Lack of space inspires development
The final design encompasses four separate but adjoining warehouse units sited in an L shape on the building site.

What started off being an exercise in cleaning out their garage and looking for a small warehouse to store company equipment, escalated into a fully blown property development for Hamilton business owners Simon and Stacey Smith.

Simon, managing director of Hamilton based electrical automation company, Incon Automation Ltd, says that he and Stacey initially looked at buying a couple of warehouse units and leasing one unit out.

“We looked for almost a year and couldn’t find anything,” Simon says. “It’s absolutely crazy in Hamilton in the commercial property sector. So we decided to look for some land to buy.

“We were initially looking at buying 1000sqm but that eventually escalated to 3600sqm of prime commercial real estate in Hamilton.”

While the original plan was to give Incon Automation a bit more storage space, that idea evolved into a long-term family investment project.

Located on 143 Mauri Street and backing onto Te Rapa Straight, the development has 60 metres of prime frontage along SH1, the main arterial route leading into Hamilton city.

With a significant investment in the land, it was critical for Simon and Stacey to maximise the use of the land and the property development to achieve the best long-term returns.

“We sat around for hours with Design House Architects and came up with what we thought was a pretty good design,” says Simon.

“We wanted something that would be nicer than just a tin shed/tilt slab from a development point of view.

“We wanted something that would still look great in 20 years time and add real value to the commercial area it was sited on.”

The designs were shared with four different commercial real estate agents around Hamilton to obtain their feedback in respect to commercial demand and tenant requirement, resulting in a number of enhancements.

The final design encompasses four separate but adjoining warehouse units sited in an L shape on the building site.

The units will vary in size from 350sqm to 600sqm and each will have its own double story high spec office of around 90sqm, depending on warehouse size.

“We are giving these buildings a higher level of design work, specification and finish than the typical concrete warehouse building to meet the needs of tenants looking for superior warehouse accommodation.

“Each office system will have gib ceilings, floor to ceiling glazing, central heating systems, data capability throughout with lots of green walls going in.”

The landscaping design includes carparking for 8 – 10 vehicles for each unit with landscaped frontage allowing for a bit of advertising.

With an expected completion target of February/ March 2018 Hamilton based high-end commercial builders Downey Construction have been selected as the lead contractors.

While open to the type of business the warehouses might attract, Simon is clear that there needed to be a good fit among the business operations to ensure there was no conflict of interest.

“Interest in the units has been very high but Incon Automation Ltd will definitely be looking at taking one of the units if all the leases are not taken up,” says Simon.

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