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Industrial developments on drawing board at AIA

Chris Hutching

Friday 21st November 2003

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The developers of 49ha of industrial land near Auckland International Airport are talking with five potential design-build clients, project manager Niksha Farac says.

The land was bought last year by Chris Verissimo and Dick Langridge via their company Workstore NZ, and they were reported to have paid close to $8 million or about $16/sq m for what Langridge described this week as a long- term hold.

Langridge is perhaps best known for his collection of about 20 Rolls-Royce cars.

He uses them for promotions via his Metropolitan Rentals and Surrey Hotel and Conference Centre when he and his wife, Glenda, are not staying at their London home in Chiswick.

"We're quite relaxed about it [the airport development block], we're not in a hurry. Out there the land value will continue to go up. It's a diminishing resource and it's the same at airports all around the world.

"The most expensive industrial land in the world is outside Heathrow Airport," Langridge, who is also a former Auckland Airport director, said.

The developers' first design, build and lease-back project was for two subsidiaries of Tourism Holdings, Johnstone Coachlines and Titan Plant Services, on a 1.2ha site after that company relocated from a city site. The balance of the 49ha site is being subdivided into 1ha lots and levelled for building by the end of this summer, Farac said.

An architect works with tenants to incorporate their specific needs into a building. "We offer clients enough land to grow into so in that way we future-proof the development, rather than selling off the blocks," Farac said.

The neighbouring Airport Oaks blocks, being developed by Trans Tasman Properties, are being sold to investors and owner occupiers.

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