Substantial development in Drury over the next 30 years is expected to turn the tide of industrial tenants who have been squeezed out of Auckland into Hamilton, property experts say.
Drury, 34km south of the Auckland CBD, has been identified as one of Auckland’s key growth hubs, set for substantial activity to meet Auckland’s increasing industrial land supply demand.
Major property developers consider Drury the upper North Island’s next big industrial hub, realising its potential as the ideal location for logistics, industrial activities and new housing.
Stephen Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of Stevenson Properties at Stevenson Group Limited, says he expects enquiry for industrial land that may have previously gone to Hamilton will now go to Drury instead, an area set for monumental growth over the next 30 years.
Stevenson Group’s 300ha development, The Drury South Project, aims to turn Drury South into a world-class provider of facilities for logistics, manufacturing and commercial operations, alongside community facilities and housing.
“Top of the Golden Triangle, Drury is ideally situated north Tauranga and Hamilton, which feed into Auckland,” Hughes says.
“We can’t underestimate the size of what’s happening in Drury. I’m not just referring to Stevenson Group’s owned land of 350ha set to contribute $2.3 billion per annum to regional GDP alone, but Drury’s wider area similar to the size of Hamilton.”
Hughes says Stevenson Group is very close to reaching an agreement with a substantial Hamilton-based business that will move some of its manufacturing to Auckland.
“While it’s too soon to reveal details, the company considers Drury a great opportunity to service its Auckland customers.”
Colliers International Site Sales Director Josh Coburn says Drury’s first movers are looking well into the future.
“When making the decision to move, businesses understand they will occupy the premises for 20 to 30 years. They’re looking for premises that can grow as their business does.
“At the same time, these businesses understand they won’t be frontrunners for long. Huge investment in infrastructure will bring a massive boom in population, correlating with these businesses’ forecast growth.”
“We’ve already seen this historically in Auckland. In Wiri and Albany, commercial and industrial occupants have led the way, with residential and commercial following behind.
“Drury’s prospective development will involve a much more collaborative approach – an unprecedented scale of collaboration. Drury’s growth is unassailable – the time for businesses to buy is now.”
Listed property company Kiwi Property has recently secured 51 hectares of land to develop Drury’s town centre.
Kiwi Property’s land is currently zoned Future Urban under the Auckland Unitary Plan.
It plans to work with council and infrastructure providers to get the area zoned for a town centre including commercial and retail uses, and high, medium and low density housing – all within walking distance of public transport.
Kiwi Property Chief Executive, Chris Gudgeon, says in realising Drury’s potential, the company has secured agreements over the land with the aim to develop a town centre to complement the existing Drury town centre, staged over 20 years. The project would be timed to coincide with predicted population growth, household formation and employment growth in South Auckland.
Similarly, Auranga, a new coastal community development headed by Managing Director Charles Ma, will deliver at least 2,500 new homes to the Auckland market, with the first homes ready for occupation by the end of 2018.
Auranga Managing Director Charles Ma says a large range of houses, terraced housing and apartments are to be built at different price points to meet the market.
"With 6,900 new jobs expected to be generated by the nearby Drury South Business Park, Auranga will provide a much-needed masterplanned community to benefit the long-term future of New Zealand’s fastest growing city.
“We aim to maximise the unique character of this peninsula site and its proximity to water, seeking to achieve exceptional environmental and social outcomes, enabling further discussions on the investment in amenities like local schools, retail shops, supermarkets, public transport and infrastructure in Drury,” he says.
Colliers International Site Sales Broker James Appleby says about 60 per cent of Auckland jobs are south of the Harbour Bridge where there is employment. When providing housing, employment typically grows faster.
“In terms of deciding where to live, Auckland remains the prized option and a new house in an area on the brink of extreme growth such as Drury represents the better alternative – a new start for Aucklanders,” he says.
Auckland Transport considers the south Auckland’s largest future urban growth area with about 5,300ha of land identified for urban development resulting in 42,000 homes and 19,000 jobs over 30 years.
The majority of this growth is projected for Pukekohe, Drury, Paerata, and Takanini in the south.
The Supporting Growth programme, a collaboration between the Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and the NZ Transport Agency aims to develop transport networks to support Auckland’s new housing and business areas over the next 30 years.
The purpose is to improve safety, greater access to new growth areas will involving creating an additional north-south route by linking to State Highway 1 and adding to a new expressway between Drury, Paerata and Pukekohe.
Hughes says that such plans, including the widening of SH1 between Manukau and Papakura that is to be extended to Drury, demonstrates a clear picture of governmental and council support for the growth of Drury.
“We seek to align private investment with the council’s evident social and economic development aspirations through the provision of critical business and employment capability in South Auckland, collaborating to meet key regional objectives,” he says.
Auckland Transport will also implement new rail stations at Tironui, Drury, Drury West and Paerata, a well-connected Rapid Transport Network with electric trains extended to Pukekohe providing extra rail capacity.