NZ's biggest upcoming commercial developments

Commercial development in New Zealand is experiencing a period of sustained growth. A 2017 Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment report forecasts that the rate of building for such projects will increase until at least late 2019.

By this point there could be a total of $9.6 billion of new non-residential building a year completed around New Zealand - an increase of over $2 billion compared to 2017. 

Each of these new developments provide countless opportunities for commercial owner occupiers and investors. With an eye to future opportunities let's explore upcoming commercial property developments

Auckland city

Major commercial developments will reshape Auckland's skyline over the next five years.

Auckland: Land for redevelopment along the City Rail Link

The City Rail Link is the largest infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in New Zealand, costing the government and Auckland council $3.4 billion. It comprises a 3.45km twin-tunnel underground rail at up to 42m deep, a redeveloped Mt Eden station and two new underground stations on Wellesley Street and off Karangahape Road.

This will transform Britomart from an end-point station to a throughway, making it easier for everyone to move around Auckland upon its completion in 2024. The line's completion will undoubtedly stimulate the areas it runs through by adding jobs and improving access. What's more the rail link is expected to open up 200,000sqm of land with development potential at the Mt Eden, Karangahape, Britomart and Aotea sites. 


The City Rail Link is the largest infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in New Zealand. 


The development land will include potential for 1,400 new dwellings, mainly at the Mt Eden site, as well as 65,000sqm of land for commercial space. This could see the creation of new residential/commercial hubs all along the rail line - a massive opportunity for high level developers and investors.

Wellington: The Timber Tower

One of New Zealand's wealthiest property investors, Sir Bob Jones, is erecting the world's tallest wooden office building in Wellington. The building, slated for completion in 2018, is to be 52m and 12 storeys high. It will have reinforced steel foundations, but the rest of the building will be constructed almost entirely of laminated timber.

This development is significant for two reasons. The first being that upon completion later this year the office will add 12 stories of luxury office suites to the Wellington market, which is severely under supplied. 

The second is because of the tower's construction methods and materials. The 'ply-scraper' will use engineered wood, prefabricated and bonded by high strength adhesives, according to a New Zealand Listener article. Since wood is less brittle than concrete or steel, these type of builds are renowned for their earthquake resistance. This groundbreaking new building technology could shape the future of commercial development in earthquake-prone regions like Christchurch and Wellington.

Building Site

Christchurch's rebuild is well underway, with several upcoming commercial property developments in 2018.

Christchurch: Commercial rebuild

Christchurch's commercial sector has been slow to start its rebuild after the earthquake. A 2017 report from the Greater Christchurch Group Monitoring Team shows that as of late 2016 only 41.6% of heavy commercial rebuilds were completed, and 63.1 % of light commercial builds were completed. 

What this means is that over $13 billion dollars of commercial property developments are slated for the greater Christchurch area in the foreseeable future. The most imminent completions include a $140 million riverfront development called the Terrace that will be comprised of office space, as well as retail and hospitality offerings. 

This year residents can also expect the opening of a two-storey Hoyts Cinema complex on Colombo Street and an $80 million 'riverside market' off Cashel Street, made up of retail, dining, shopping and offices. There's also a $475 million convention centre slated for completion in 2020, amongst countless other projects.

Christchurch's rebuild is strengthening the city's commercial offering. Auckland and Wellington's strong economies and continuing commercial development are doing the same, creating entire new commercial precincts and investment opportunities. 

Wherever you buy, or rent, make sure you start your search the right way - using New Zealand's largest collection of online real estate listings -

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