Green light for $400m business park

Ian Tulloch
Ian Tulloch

After eight years of waiting, a Southland businessman's multimillion-dollar business park plans are coming to fruition.

Ian (Inky) Tulloch has jointly invested in the $400 million Waterloo Business Park in Christchurch with Auckland-based Southpark Corporation executive director John Sax.

His Southland-based investment company is jointly owned with fellow Southlander Paul Johnstone.

He has wide business interests, ranging from transport and meat processing, through to pastoral farming, dairying and property management.

Mr Tulloch said he decided to invest in Christchurch because part of his transport business was based in the city.

"We have always owned and developed our own sites and this was a logical extension of that," he said.

He had bought the site eight years ago with a friend and had planned to build a depot and develop the site. He said it was a reasonable but good investment because land values eight years ago were much lower.

"It took us eight years to get a business park consent from Christchurch City Council and we were dealing with Environment Canterbury long before commissioners were appointed . . . now the process has been speeded up, however, earthquakes have slowed down planning and consent hearings and there have been seismological investigations."

It was a big project and he estimated construction of the park would cost up to $400m, and that 5000 people would be employed by companies in the complex.

"That's in addition to the many hundreds of jobs created in the development and construction phases."

Work on the $30m infrastructure is due to begin this month, with the sprawling site to be developed in stages over several years.

When the land was bought, there had not been earthquakes in Christchurch, so it was fortunate that the land, in the industrial area of Hornby, was on solid ground, he said.

"We are absolutely confident of business growth in Christchurch, and Waterloo Business Park is designed to meet the burgeoning demand for warehousing and logistics as well as light industry and manufacturing as the rebuild gains momentum," he said.

Businesses were crying out for quality industrial space and since the earthquakes struck, demand had soared, especially because some other industrial areas were deemed undesirable for re-investment, he said.

The 114-hectare, fully landscaped Waterloo Business Park would be one of the biggest in New Zealand, he said.

It would have fountains, boulevard-style roads, attractive outdoor areas and amenities such as a gym and cafes.

Mr Tulloch, who is well known for his feats in motorsport, business and politics as a former Gore mayor said Christchurch presented immense opportunities.

The Southland Times