First project a winner for busy couple

First project a winner for busy couple
The Maui Street development encompasses four separate but adjoining warehouse units sited in an L shape.

Hamilton couple Simon and Stacey Smith have just completed their first commercial project and they are already planning their next.
They admit they are “accidental developers” as 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 – one for their business and the other to lease out.
When they couldn’t find anything suitable this led to them building their own, which has resulted in four warehouse units on 3600sqm of land. They have retained two and sold the others in order to fund them into their next project.
The design of their recently completed project, located on 143 Maui Street and backing onto Te Rapa Straight, encompasses four separate but adjoining warehouse units sited in an L shape on the building site.
Designed by Design House Architects the development offers 60 metres of prime frontage along SH1, the main arterial route leading into Hamilton city.
It has been a labour of love for the couple and a steep learning curve. Simon says they spent a lot of time on design as they wanted something that would still look great in 20 years time and add real value to the commercial area it was sited on.
Feedback was gained from four different commercial real estate agents around Hamilton to ascertain commercial demand and tenant requirement, resulting in a number of enhancements to their initial design.
The units vary in size from 350sqm to 600sqm and each has its own double story high spec office of around 90sqm, depending on warehouse size.
Their clients are people wanting a higher level of design work, specification and finish than the typical concrete warehouse building.
For example each office system has GIB ceilings, floor to ceiling glazing, central heating systems and data capability throughout with lots of green walls going in.
The landscaping design includes car parking for six vehicles for each unit with landscaped frontage. The project was built by Downey Construction.
Simon says that the uncertainty around a capital gains tax put a damper on initial enquiry as businesses were not investing in an uncertain environment.
But once a firm stance was taken by government enquiry lifted instantly and the units sold and leased quickly.
They enjoyed the project so much they are quickly moving into another. Simon generally takes on the design and management aspects of projects with Stacey taking charge of the paperwork.
Simon says that they prefer to work with small businesses such as their own as they find this leads to a more personal experience and faster turna-round.
They plan to retain ownership of the next two units they are in the process of planning and are currently working with two clients who wish to lease them.
“It’s a more bespoke service so we can build units that our clients want to lease. “Commercial growth in Hamilton is good and demand for warehouse space remains strong,” he says.
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