Business park in demand
Aerodrome Business Park, a new upscale industrial development alongside the airport, is expected to bring highly-skilled job opportunities to Gisborne and to boost the economy for years to come. Andrew Ashton talks to Russell Moylan, project manager for the 18.5 hectare green-field development.
(this article appeared in the Gisborne Herald Business Quarterly - Monday March 11, 2019)
An 18.5 hectare business park on Aerodrome Road had originally been planned to be completed in several stages — however, demand for the 28 sections was so great the project has been fast-tracked. “We had already sold stage one before we went to market,” said Russell Moylan, project manager for Aerodrome Business Park Gisborne Ltd.
“In fact, we’ve sold over half the development through word of mouth, without any form of advertising — it just got out there and people approached us.” Fifteen sections had been sold since December, while a tender process for the remaining 13 sections closed on Wednesday last week.
“From the reports we’ve had there is significant interest, both locally and nationwide,” Mr Moylan said. The developers were now working through details with various parties. “We are extremely happy with how the process has gone,” he said.
The availability of large, green-field sites created opportunities for existing businesses to expand and new businesses to come to town, providing more jobs in the region. Mr Moylan said he had been taken by surprise at some of the businesses that had already become involved.
“We have zoning for a mix of aviation, light industrial and commercial. So the site has broad appeal and the aviation zoning especially makes it quite unique.”
Owner-occupier companies to have bought sites include a helicopter operator, an earthworks business, two heavy machinery repair and maintenance firms, a fuel supplier and a trucking venture. Gisborne-based property development investors have bought nine lots for build and lease options. Titles are expected by the end of this year and by this time next year building will have begun on a number of sites, which are arranged round a central loop road.
Section sizes in the development range from 3500 square metres to 1 hectare. “Our point of difference is the very high standard of specifications, which include 12-metre-wide carriageways, decorative street lighting and footpaths, major landscaping works and two six-metre open swales to treat stormwater. There’s currently no green-field sites of this scale available in the region.”
Mr Moylan was grateful for the assistance provided by Ngai Tawhiri who they have worked with closely to ensure public access to the Waikanae Stream is maintained whilst also planting and enhancing that waterway. This development also provides a platform for Mr Moylan’s business, Civil Project Solutions (CPS) — winner of the supreme award at the Westpac Gisborne Business Excellence Awards last year — to utilise its state-of-the-art Trimble SX10 3D scanning and modelling survey equipment. CPS will also provide engineering, geo-technical and project management support for Aerodrome Business Park.
“What we can do with that technology, is effectively create 3D models for the cut-to-fill materials and the roading,” said Mr Moylan. That software is then fed into a “semiautonomous” tractor, excavator, digger or bulldozer, enabling it to work with millimetre precision. “Essentially it means we can do the job smarter and faster.”
Both CPS and Gisborne business Earthwork Solutions had invested significant sums in hightech equipment to complete the development more efficiently and accurately. Design and consenting work for the project began in March 2018 and Gisborne District Council approved consents just prior to Christmas. “GDC have been fantastic to deal with through the design and consenting process, providing regular updates to us along the way,” Mr Moylan said.