Multi-million dollar airport business park set to fly
"Hawke's Bay needs an international airport before a business park."Featured comment
A multi-million dollar business park mooted for Hawke's Bay airport is off the ground with a new anchor tenant.
The airport company, a joint venture owned by Hawke's Bay regional council, two other local authorities and the government, wants a mix of light industrial and commercial at the 20ha site just south of Napier CBD.
Global power and automation technology giant ABB is the first company to sign a lease.
ABB, which makes a range of technology products from industrial robots to motors and generators, wants to build a new research and development centre and assembly unit at the park.
The company already has a presence in Hawke's Bay, employing 130 people.
Business park development manager Wayne Wootton says the park is a key part of the airport's long-term strategy to grow revenue from both landside and airside assets.
"At full capacity, the park will be able to offer up to 100,000 square metres of floor space and potentially employ more than 1000 people.
Hawke's Bay-based MP and commerce minister Craig Foss has welcomed the anchor tenant.
"The development shows great confidence in the region for growing the economy, exports and jobs."
Mr Wootton says the first stage of the development will see the airport invest $4 million into infrastructure, including roading, a dedicated power supply and ultra-fast broadband.
He confirmed the airport is also talking to other businesses. "Progressing negotiations with further potential tenants who have local, national and international interests."
Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce CEO Murray Douglas says the chamber has been working with the airport company for three years on this idea.
"We are hoping to cluster a number of light end international companies at this park, as opposed to food processing sites, for which there are other business parks available," he told NBR ONLINE.
"There is the airport business park, one at Ahuriri [in Napier], one at the old Whakatu meat works, one in Hastings and another at Prebensen Drive - Napier's industrial area."
Mr Douglas says that, as shown by Big Save furniture when it moved its operations to the region, basing a national distribution centre in Hawke's Bay can literally save millions from the bottom line.