Wynyard Quarter 'hub' plan revealed

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 10:52 14/05/2014

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Commercial property manager Precinct Properties has struck an agreement with Waterfront Auckland to further develop an ''innovation hub'' within Auckland's centrally-located Wynyard Quarter.

Precinct's chief executive Scott Pritchard said it was a pleasing end to negotiations which were announced earlier this year.

''It is widely accepted that there has been a shift in Auckland's CBD [central business district] from a historic north-south or Queen Street-orientation to one that follows the waterfront.

''We believe this development complements our existing portfolio but importantly will support our aspirations for the Downtown Shopping Centre site."

Precinct would develop and lease the 1.1ha area, acquiring a 125-year prepaid ground lease

Architects Warren and Mahoney had designed for two sites, separated by a public laneway called "the Water Street".

The sites had the potential for around 46,000sq m of gross floor area.

They would be developed in five stages, and leased with a view to building on existing efforts to create an information and digital technology hub.

The hub would bring entrepreneurs together with larger scale firms, as part of Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED)'s plans for a multi-building innovation precinct in the quarter.

Pritchard said the Wynyard Quarter was one of the country's largest urban regeneration projects and the considerable public investment put into it was set to continue.

''Its public spaces and level of amenity in Auckland are unrivalled.''

Funding for the project would come from Precinct's previously announced plans to recycle capital out of its existing portfolio.

Its SAP Tower is currently on the market and other assets were being ''repositioned'' to take advantage of investor demand and a lack of competing stock.

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