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New Work Base units provide options in Upper Hutt

Seasoned real estate developer Malcolm Gillies, of Gillies Group, who has long-championed the merits of Upper Hutt as a place to live, work and play, has launched the new Work Base business park to the market, with nearly 40 percent of Stage One already sold unconditionally off the plans to owner-occupiers and investors.

Work Base is an architecturally-designed 43-unit business park to be rolled out in two stages, with Stage One offering 21 freehold units from 60-122 square metres, each with a large roller door access and two designated parking spaces.

The development is at 21 Masefield Street, Upper Hutt, and accessed off Whakatiki Street, the arterial that links State Highway 2 with the Upper Hutt CBD.

The project is being marketed by Bhakti Mistry, Fraser Press and Ethan Hourigan of the Bayleys Wellington commercial team, with units starting at $360,000 plus GST, if any.

Mistry said in-line with trends being seen elsewhere in the greater Wellington region, owner-occupiers and investors are recognising value in new-build industrial units that have strong locational credentials and inherent flexibility around usage.

“Buyers are also realising that they will have to look slightly further afield for new premises given the unprecedented demand we’re seeing across the Wellington market for purpose-built units and the rapid uptake of any stock that comes to the market,” she said.

“With units priced from $360,000, Work Base offers an accessible entry point for owner-occupiers wanting to leverage off still-low interest rates, ditch the landlord, gain some tax benefits and take control of their business premises.

“Equally, investors can see the high tenant demand for business units around the region and they know that when benchmarked against comparable new developments in other parts of Wellington, these ones stack up.”

Units on the west side of the Work Base development, with profile to State Highway 2, have been the most popular to-date with only five units still available on that side.

Mistry said while mezzanine floor options are available at an additional cost, kitchenette facilities come standard with each unit, and a rear door from every unit opens to a yard area – setting them apart from other entry-level options on the market currently.

“With a high-quality low-maintenance finish and 6-metre high studs, the units are both functional and stylish with a corporate feel that would translate to any number of potential occupier uses,” she said.

“The rise in ecommerce and online shopping platforms has created a need for off-site retail inventory storage, and the uptick in construction is driving demand from tradespeople for well-located workplaces with easy access on and off main arterials.

“Likewise, there‘s been growth in manufacturing, distribution, and technology businesses and the Business Industrial zoning at Work Base allows for a wide range of occupiers.

“Traffic movements from and to State Highway 2 are streamlined at Work Base and, with Transmission Gulley inching towards completion, it will soon be easier for goods to be moved from State Highway 1 to Upper Hutt.”

Changing work patterns, the trend for a more distributed workforce via core and flex workplace models, and a need for companies to build resilience into their business plans, makes the purpose-built commercial unit scenario a viable one for companies and SMEs.

“There is expected to be significant population growth in Upper Hutt in coming years, as rising house values, the lack of existing supply and a shortage of available land in more-central parts of Wellington pushes home buyers outwards,” said Mistry.

“A 2019 housing assessment indicated Upper Hutt would need an extra 5600 houses by 2047, and Upper Hutt City Council has begun city-wide engagement on proposed changes to its District Plan to allow more high- and medium-density housing across the urban valley floor.”

Malcolm Gillies, who has had a long career in real estate in Upper Hutt and now focuses on the development segment of the market, is active in the commercial and industrial space.

He redeveloped the former Dunlop tyre factory into the innovative South Pacific Industrial Park, now underpinned by the successful craft brewery hub, Brewtown, and is also developing the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport at the former Central Institute of Technology site in Trentham.

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