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Waiuku industrial subdivision offers a lifeline for priced-out occupiers

Waiuku industrial subdivision offers a lifeline for pricedout occupier  hero

A game-changing new industrial subdivision in Auckland’s fast-growing south offers owner-occupiers and investors a rare opportunity to secure their own land at an affordable price point.

Fernleigh Industrial Estate is a carefully considered development that will comprise 32 ready-to-build lots in Waiuku, 10 minutes from Pukekohe, 25 minutes from Drury and under an hour from Auckland’s CBD.

Most of the lots are around the 1,000sq m sweet spot – a size highly sought by small to medium enterprises, but increasingly hard to find anywhere in Auckland.

The estate itself is strategically located in an up-and-coming area that offers excellent value and growth potential, as prices continue to rise in surrounding industrial precincts.

Colliers International has been exclusively appointed to offer Fernleigh Industrial Estate to the market, with individual lots of between 690sq m to 9,700sq m available to purchase in the first stage.

Jeff Davidson, Projects Director at Colliers, says the estate is a truly unique offering, being the first of its kind in the local area.

“Fernleigh will be a game-changer for occupiers and investors who have been priced out of the market by rising land values and competition from deep-pocketed developers.

“For many years it has been very difficult for any business, and small to medium enterprises in particular, to buy land in Auckland’s established industrial precincts.

“While Auckland does have a modest amount of developable vacant land, much of it is in larger lots that are typically owned by developers or investors who generally build to lease rather than selling.

“The shortage and cost of industrial land, and of smaller freehold lots in particular, has prompted the planning and development of Fernleigh Industrial Estate off Cornwall Road in Waiuku.

“Fernleigh provides a rare opportunity for occupiers and investors to acquire their own ready-to-build industrial land at entry-level pricing.

“As the tremendous growth of Auckland’s south continues apace, this is a superb chance to secure a spot in a future industrial hub while land prices remain within reach.”

Greg Goldfinch, Industrial National Director at Colliers, says history suggests there is enormous growth potential in fringe industrial locations like Waiuku.

“In the last five years, industrial land values have at least doubled in most of Auckland’s established precincts.

“The excess of demand over supply has caused price escalation not only in well-established areas such as Penrose, Onehunga and Otahuhu, but also more recently in areas such as Wiri, and now in Drury, Pukekohe and Takanini as the shortage bites.

“If history repeats, industrial land values in Waiuku are likely to follow the same growth trajectory.”

Goldfinch points out that 20 years ago, Wiri was considered a fringe location at Auckland’s southern edge, with land changing hands at less than $100/sq m.

“As Auckland grew to the south, Wiri became a mainstream location, with average land values now at $650 per square metre – and there are examples of sales well in excess of the average.

“The rise of Drury South, Takanini, and Pukekohe is further evidence of Auckland’s southern growth, triggering demand for industrial land in these hitherto largely non-commercial centres.”

Average industrial land values are estimated to be $400 to $450/sq m in Takanini and Pukekohe. Sales in this range and higher have also occurred in Drury South, where sale prices have risen from $300 to over $500/sq m in a short space of time.

Alan McMahon, Strategic Advisory Director at Colliers, says there are very few opportunities to purchase smaller industrial landholdings in Auckland’s growing south.

A review of land transactions tells us that from 2017 to early 2020, only six plots of industrial land of less than 1,000sq m, and 13 between 1,000sq m and 5,000sq m, were sold in Franklin District and the former Manukau City area.

“Of that total, only four were in Franklin District, underlining the lack of opportunities for businesses to secure their own land.”

The bulk of Fernleigh Industrial Estate’s lots are around 1,000sq m in size, making up some 75 per cent of stock available in the first stage.

Each of the 32 lots will benefit from comprehensive work by the developer, including full services and roading, enabling construction to commence without delay.

Charles Cooper, Auckland Managing Director at Colliers, says the sites will offer great flexibility for a range of buyers.

“An owner-occupier could purpose-build a new facility to the specific needs of their business, while an investor could build to lease, taking advantage of strong tenant demand for flexible, modern industrial space.

“Colliers can assist prospective purchasers by connecting them with architects and builders who will be able design and construct a modern, cost-effective industrial facility for their chosen site.

“Alternatively, the lots are suitable for yard-based uses such as heavy machinery, truck or boat storage. A potential purchaser could buy the land now and develop later, or land bank for future capital gains as Auckland’s south continues to grow.

“With so many options at such an affordable price point, we expect strong demand from all manner of buyers.”

Davidson says Waiuku is an ideal location for small to medium businesses, being situated between the large Auckland market and the Golden Triangle’s growth centres of Hamilton and Tauranga.

“Infrastructure improvements, designed to keep pace with the increased traffic and population, continue to improve Waiuku’s accessibility.

“Improvements to the Southern Corridor along State Highway 1, which have been evident for some time, will continue to improve traffic flow south to Papakura, with completion expected within 12 months. Meanwhile, the important SH22/SH1 Drury to Paerata project is in the design stage.”

Davidson says road improvements tend to have a positive effect on land values, as businesses cluster close to locations that work for them.

“Fernleigh Industrial Estate offers a compelling first-mover advantage for buyers looking to capitalise on the future growth of Auckland’s south. Savvy occupiers and investors will not want to miss out.”

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Jeff Davidson



Jeff's career commenced in chartered accountancy before progressing to financial management roles in a range of diverse industries leading to his appointment as Managing Director of a prominent national real estate group before establishing his own consultancy business. Jeff's association with Colliers commenced in 2007 providing consultancy services to Colliers evaluating and making recommendations  to Colliers for new business opportunities. This work led to the re-establishment of the Residential Project Marketing Division in 2008 which has been involved in projects to date with a value of over $1billion. Jeff is responsible for the execution and successful sell down of medium to high density residential projects, liaising with clients, developing products that best meet market needs and driving a team of specialised project sales consultants to achieve targeted sales results that enables construction to commence at the earliest time.

Jeff continues to act as an independent member on advisory boards utilising the breadth of knowledge and experience gained across his diverse work experience. Colliers 2008 - current, RJD Consulting Limited 2006 - current, Bayleys Realty Group Limited 1999 - 2006, Ernest Adams Limited 1997 - 1999, Bridgestone Firestone Limited 1992 - 1997, Arthur Yates & Co Limited 1987 - 1992 and Deloitte (NZ and South Africa) 1980 - 1987. 

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Greg Goldfinch

National Director | Industrial

Auckland South

Greg specialises in the mid to upper end of the Industrial sale and leasing markets. He joined Colliers International in 2004, coming from a policing background. He quickly established strong relationships within the industrial market and has worked exclusively for the likes of Fisher & Paykel, The Warehouse, Freedom Furniture, Fletchers, NZ Police, NZ Guardian Trust, Goodyear Dunlop NZ Ltd and Mercedes-Benz to name a few.

Greg has been the lead broker on nearly all of the largest transactions in the industrial property market over the last ten years. Greg has completed three of the largest industrial sales ever in the New Zealand market. He is a regular top 10 broker for Colliers across NZ having transacted in excess of $6billion worth of industrial real estate in his time with Colliers.

In 2013, 2019 and 2020 Greg was awarded the Commercial and Industrial Salesperson of the Year Award by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand and was runner up in 2018. Greg was Colliers International’s top salesperson in New Zealand across all sectors in In 2010, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

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Alan McMahon

National Director | Strategic Advisory


Alan has overall responsibility for Strategic Advisory for Colliers International in New Zealand. 

He advises a wide range of public and private sector organizations. Clients include Auckland Council,, Massey University, Kiwi Property, Ngai Tahu Property, Ngati Whatua Orakei, Ngati Whatua o Kaipara, NZ Super, and various departments of the New Zealand government including Police, MBIE, Ministry of Justice, and Kainga Ora.




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Charles Cooper

Managing Director - Auckland


As Colliers International's Auckland managing director, Charles holds a strategic role responsible for the entire client service experience, the growth strategies and the profitability of the total Auckland business. Charles is also a key member of Colliers International's New Zealand board of directors and sits on the Australasian senior leadership team.

Colliers International's Auckland business is the strongest commercial real estate services player in the market and employs over 260 professionals in four offices across the city.

Charles is also responsible for growing Colliers' market share across its various service lines and charged with developing Colliers’ Auckland business as a ‘best practice’ model for the company’s 20 nationwide offices.

He is also responsible for people management across the Auckland offices, including leadership and direction, recruitment, mentoring, skills development and succession planning; as well as implementing and developing new business lines.

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