Interest in business park a sign of stronger confidence

ANDREA FOX
Last updated 08:31 24/01/2013
Torpedo7
Chris Hillock/FAIRFAX NZ

Wide open: Stage one of Titanium Park was sold late in 2011 to Hamilton-based online retailer Torpedo7. The sports retailer has big airfreight requirements.

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Two international companies considering making the Waikato the entry for their New Zealand debut are among groups making a spate of fresh inquiries for big sites at Hamilton airport's Titanium business park.

The interest possibly signals new confidence in the economy.

The companies, along with local and national operations, have been inquiring about space in the yet-to-be-developed 25 hectare western precinct of Titanium Park, to be accessed off Ohaupo Road, SH3, said McConnell Group development manager Aidan Donnelly.

McConnell is developing the big business park in a joint venture with Hamilton airport.

Donnelly said inquiries had stepped up recently and McConnell was forecasting "a gradual improvement in the economy, rather than anything dramatic".

"It's still a tough business environment," he said.

The size and shape of the western precinct means Titanium Park can offer "big box" buildings, typically 10,000-20,0000 square metres with big spans, Donnelly said.

He said the interest from overseas was exactly what the joint venture was aiming for: "We want to be targeting these business to grow the local economy. That was the real reason for Titanium Park, [to] capture economic benefits for the region and to underpin the airport."

But the developers' current priority is selling and tenanting the central precinct, a 3 hectare area developed immediately adjacent to Airport Road, which offers sites of 2000-5000 sqm. Roading and infrastructure work is finished and planting is under way, Donnelly said.

Negotiations are advanced with several companies including distribution, manufacturing, agribusiness and aviation sector parties, he said.

Stage one of Titanium Park, 12 ha known as the Raynes Rd precinct, was sold late in 2011 to Hamilton-based online retailer Torpedo7.

The sports retailer, which has big airfreight requirements, said it planned to start building last February the first stage of what it announced would be a $100 million complex.

Director and founder of the Fast 50-growth rated company, Luke Howard-Willis, said in 2011 the first stage, costing between $20m and $25m, would be a 15,000sqm warehouse and 3000sqm two-storey office block.

A start on the warehouse was delayed until around September last year.

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