Last year, James Stewart Kirkpatrick spoke of his company having never been busier.
It continues to defy trying climes in 2012. The James Kirkpatrick Group – of which
the 81-year-old founder is sole shareholder – is successfully sticking to its knitting. The pattern first set half a century ago and articulated by Mr Kirkpatrick
is to build industrial buildings. The latest example is what is said to be one of the biggest newly- constructed industrial facilities in Auckland – a large portion
of which is leased by cosmetics company L’Oreal.
The 12,000sq m warehouse
and office complex in Otahuhu, Auckland, is something of a rarity in these straitened times: few significant industrial facilities in Auckland have been built of late. “The Kirkpatrick Group has been one of a few industrial landlords to take a strategic and counter-cynical approach to the recession and has used the past 18 months to build spec facilities, when most other landlords have been requiring pre-commitment from tenants in order to commence construction,” a Colliers broker told the New Zealand Herald. Further schemes included a 7000sq m shed in Mangere.
There is also the plump property portfolio to further
the two-generation Kirkpatrick enterprise (son James is also in the family firm).
Mr Kirkpatrick’s glamorous socialite wife, Gilda, continues to hold a season ticket to appearances in the nation’s social pages. In March she and her husband celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary at Ellerslie’s Derby Day. The couple were guests in the Gucci private suite. They would have had other reasons to celebrate prior to that date. Their “wedding cake” home on Auckland’s Paritai drive gained $1.21 million in new property valuations released last year – taking the value to $12 million.