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Interplex


Location: North Shore

Completion: 2006

Role: Development Management & Client Representation

Summary

Commencing in 2001 this 4½ year, 47 ha project set a bench mark for Business Park subdivision.

The project encompassed two significant achievements:

1. creating a new locational identity with significant value using new strict building controls and efficient design and lot sizing;
2. the successful planning and completion of a major earthworks exercise requiring a balanced cut to fill over the whole site with over 1 million m3 being shifted, the majority of which was compacted as a part of the development.

These achievements were a credit to the team assembled and committed to the highly successful interplex@albany Business Park project, lead and directed by Cambridge Estates.

To create and maintain a high standard of business park development, interplex@albany adopted a comprehensive suite of land use controls to ensure a high quality product. From a development perspective this was seen as critical to the success of the project – by comparison, ‘traditional’ industrial land developments are normally sold piece meal over a period with a risk of building design and tenant quality contamination, wide ranging development standards and potentially an overall lower quality product.

A comprehensive encumbrance package was chosen as it provided enforcement security alongside flexibility to adapt to market and product advances (a recognised problem with inflexible covenants). Purchasers of interplex@albany sites were very supportive of the approach – especially given the certainty it provided to owners around the form of the future development.

The entire property was totally earthworked to provide platformed commercial lots with industrial standard roading to give flowing networks and connectivity. Some sites were specifically designed with dual frontage to allow through traffic access.

The soil types of Auckland’s North Shore (submarine volcanic clays) provided significant challenges to the development. This was overcome with the use of onsite material that was mixed with light weight equipment that could be supported by the weak ground. This mixing avoided the need to dispose of up to 140,000 m3 of unsuitable material saving considerable cost. In all, in excess of 1 million m3 was moved on site with none leaving the property, the complete balanced cut to fill.

The encumbrance, managed through an Owners Association, controlled all development on the completed lots under the following elemental controls:

1. Architectural
a. Site planning
b. Building Form
c. Signage
2. Landscaping.
3. Construction Rules.

The above created a ‘Development Code’ that while encouraging and promoting excellent site and building design also remained an enforceable mechanism to prevent and stop bad design and “cheating” developers. In doing so it also created demand, value, encouraged investment activity while attracting the upper echelons of tenants, owner occupiers and building developers.

This demand was reflected in land sale values that commenced at $179 m2 first sale, to $650 m2 in a final stage lot on sale. The interplex@albany land commanded a premium of at least 40% over neighbouring land of identical physical nature.

This project was commenced in 2001 when the market was flat and the location of interplex@albany was seen as very secondary. The project was nevertheless a success at all levels.

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