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University would be welcome addition to Newmarket

7 September 2012

University would be welcome addition to Newmarket

Newmarket Business Association Chief Executive, Ashley Church, has cautiously welcomed an unconfirmed report that the University of Auckland may be in the throes of buying the old Newmarket brewery site – but he has urged any new owner to ‘show vision’ in any redevelopment.

"it is crucial that any new owner of the 5.4h site sees it in the broader context of the future development of Newmarket and the opportunities that presents."

Over the next 5 years, Mr Church says that Newmarket will consolidate its position as the most important business centre in New Zealand – so creating a University campus would be an ideal fit with the Newmarket Business Association's current Strategic Plan provided any such development incorporated a broader vision.

"There is a huge opportunity to show real vision and utilise it in a way which will be both profitable and will have major economic and social benefits."

Mr Church cites the inclusion of upmarket hotel accommodation and a mid-range conference centre as examples of additions which would ‘take the development to the next level’. He says that the inclusion of such amenities, in any proposed development, would enable the University to interact more fully with the Newmarket community and leverage the commercial setting to best advantage.

“The proximity of the Lion site to the Domain, the Museum, and New Zealand’s premium shopping centre in Newmarket make the development of a mid-range Conference Centre and medium to high end accommodation eminently logical”.

Newmarket is already well connected to the city's transport network and would offer a safe environment for a new student and academic population and overseas visitors in addition to world class shopping, cafes and restaurants.

Mr Church says that a proposed Conference Centre is already a feature of discussions with the Waitamata Local Board and that the Auckland Council may well be a potential partner and partial funder. He said that he looked forward o working with any new owner and that the Association would do everything it could to assist developments which enhance Newmarket.


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