Sylvia Park Town Centre Development Moves Forward
16 JULY 2004
NZX & MEDIA RELEASE
16 July 2004
KIWI INCOME PROPERTY TRUST:
SYLVIA PARK TOWN CENTRE DEVELOPMENT MOVES FORWARD
Kiwi Income Property Trust today signalled a key step forward in its planned development of a 'new generation' town centre on its 24 hectare Sylvia Park site in Mt Wellington, Auckland. The concept encompasses a mix of integrated retail, office, entertainment, educational, residential and community uses and is located on a major public and private transport hub.
Chief Executive of the Manager of the Trust, Angus McNaughton, said the lodgement this week of a resource consent application for the first $300 million retail stage of 55,000m2 marked an important milestone in the development.
"Sylvia Park is an extraordinary project in terms of its vision, scale, complexity and exceptional site attributes, and it has been subject to intensive planning and consideration over the past five years. Substantial progress has also been made with other development hurdles, including project funding, construction contracts, and major tenant agreements, with the Trust firmly committed to moving forward with the project."
Mr McNaughton said the Trust's development exposure would be minimised by the staging of the development, anchor tenant pre-leasing and obtaining guaranteed certainty with construction costs. He said the project was consistent with the Trust's continuing focus on adding value to its portfolio and reweighting it towards the high performing retail sector to achieve optimum short and long-term gain.
"Retail opportunities of the quality, nature and superior growth potential of Sylvia Park are very rare, and the town centre concept with its location in the heart of an area targeted by Auckland City for major intensification of residential use makes it unique in New Zealand."
More than 500,000 Aucklanders live within a 20 minute drive of the site, which is located on the Auckland isthmus at the intersection of the Southern motorway, the South-eastern highway, the North Island main trunk railway and the proposed Eastern Transport Corridor.
Mr McNaughton said the fully completed development, which will ultimately accommodate in excess of 5,000 full time jobs, will be responding to the diverse present and future needs of one of the fastest growing demographic catchments in the country, and will be a catalyst for other developments in the area.
"The town centre concept is essentially about creating a central core for the community, a place where people live, work, meet, shop, learn and play. The design approach respects and builds on the Maori and European heritage of the site and meets the rising public interest in a return to open public spaces as opposed to totally enclosed malls".
The centre, which will incorporate its own railway station, will feature bold New Zealand design with a mix of internal and external precincts reflecting Auckland's distinctive topography and climate.
Mr McNaughton said the Trust's recent successful redevelopment of its Northlands Shopping Centre in Christchurch was testimony to its ability to add value to its portfolio and to achieve the Sylvia Park vision. The $91 million expansion of Northlands, which made it New Zealand's largest enclosed shopping centre at 41,000 m2, was achieved on time and within budget, has an occupancy rate of 99.6% and achieved a revaluation gain of $16.2 million, $13.2 million ahead of the prospectus forecast.
Given the scale of the Sylvia Park project from the perspective of capital availability and risk management, the Trust is considering various funding options, including the introduction of a joint venture partner. Mr McNaughton said discussions are in progress with a number of potential partners.
Approval of the resource consent application for Sylvia Park is expected later this year, with construction on the first stage of the retail development due to commence in 2005.