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The 4.07 ha site at 27 Smales Road in East Tamaki represents one of the last parcels of land in Auckland’s core industrial heartland that is available for design and build

Greenfield logistics site in East Tamaki to be developed

Amidst persistent and critically low industrial space availability in south Auckland, an opportunity for logistics and freight companies to design and build a facility has emerged at 27 Smales Road in East Tamaki.

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The 4.07 ha Business 5 zoned site owned by Synergy Properties represents one of the last parcels of land in Auckland’s core industrial heartland that is available for design and build. Presented by Patrick Sammon and Lewis Watson of CBRE South Auckland, the property will be available for lease in September next year.

Mr Sammon says the Smales Road property is essentially one of the last of its kind in one of the most in-demand industrial areas in the country. “Prime industrial vacancy in the area is at 0.6%, so new supply is being rapidly absorbed. Therefore, the availability of 27 Smales Road is timed perfectly to meet demand, particularly as it will be tenant-led, with Synergy offering the ability to meet the market quickly.

“Any medium to large industrial occupiers planning to base themselves in East Tamaki over the next couple of years should look into 27 Smales Road, as the alternatives are extremely thin on the ground,” he adds.

The site was originally owned by Fletcher Construction. Firth Blocks bought it with a five-year lease to run, and Synergy purchased the site in May 2015. Firth is now on a short-term lease, with only 12 months left to run.

Custom-built facility

Lewis Watson says that a bare, developable 4 ha piece of land in this location is incredibly rare. “27 Smales Road presents an opportunity for potential occupiers to be part of the design and build process and enjoy a custom-built facility tailored to their individual business needs, thanks to the design and build approach taken by Synergy, which is favoured by many organisations as the process removes many of the constraints often experienced by speculative building,” he says. 

“From a business standpoint, this is hugely appealing and cost-effective for occupiers because it removes responsibility while providing a single point of accountability to ensure an optimal end result.”

Synergy Properties specialises in creating facilities that directly fulfil industrial tenants’ needs. “We’ve worked with a raft of internationally-renowned organisations to create custom-built facilities over a number of years,” says Aaron Brown of Synergy Properties. “These include the likes of Yamaha and chainsaw manufacturers STIHL.

“We take a personal approach to each project and work closely with our clients each step of the way to ensure their needs are met. Our extensive network and team of world-class architects, contractors, suppliers and business partners deliver a top-quality product for our clients – built on a foundation of trust and open communication.”

Location, location, location

The site is located along Smales Road, which is near Te Irirangi Drive and has easy access to the Southern and Southwestern Motorways. Having easy access to surrounding infrastructure such as the port, airport and motorways is a real business advantage, says Lewis Watson. Equidistant between Highbrook and Botany Downs, the convenient location is close to a host of amenities. 

In recent years, CBRE research has shown that many new industrial developments have taken place in East Tamaki, Wiri and in the airport corridor, reaffirming their mantle as the industrial epicentre of New Zealand.

The research also reveals that although 500,000 sq m of industrial space is being created at present in the region, in reality few options are available due to pre-commitments already claimed for space being created, and even less of it is available outside of Highbrook.

“When you break down the current stock under construction, the reality is that there is limited new stock for occupiers of 3000 sq m+,” says Patrick Sammon. “With prime vacancy now at 0.6% – or 25,000 sq m – occupiers could be forced to look elsewhere or compromise on their requirements.

“In our view this situation is only going to get worse: there’s no more land available in East Tamaki. People are going to Wiri and further afield because there are so few opportunities to buy in East Tamaki – we have even seen yields as low as 4.81% in the area.”

Considerable interest expected

On the back of this, Synergy Properties and CBRE expect considerable interest in the project. “The timing of this opportunity is paramount,” says Aaron Brown. “The market is crying out for a piece of land this size, and the endless possibilities around the design and build offering only adds to the appeal.”

This is echoed by Lewis Watson: “At a time when sites are rare and demand is extremely high, a site like this offers a remarkable opportunity for industrial occupiers looking for location, scale and a developer who is prepared to work with them.”


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