You are here
Location, location, location - Titanium Park
*This article originally appeared in New Zealand Construction News*
What do a wire rope distributor, aircraft designer and builder, and aviation training facility have in common? For Shaw’s Wire Ropes, Pacific Aerospace and CTC Aviation the answer is simple: location, location, location.
The three very different businesses are based in or around Titanium Park, New Zealand’s latest master planned business development. A joint venture between McConnell Property, Hamilton Airport and Todd Property, Titanium Park sits at the heart of the Waikato, one of New Zealand’s largest export regions.
A key attraction for the businesses is that the area provides a gateway to national and international markets via its position adjacent to Hamilton Airport, New Zealand’s second busiest commercial airport.
While Pacific Aerospace has a long, happy history in the area, Shaw’s and CTC Aviation are relative newcomers. CTC was attracted to the region’s aviation hub, and the opportunity to reside amongst like-minded businesses; Shaw’s was drawn to the modern infrastructure and connectivity provided by Titanium Park.
A key advantage of Titanium Park and its surrounds is the area’s accessibility and connectivity: it is flanked by State Highways 1, 3 and 21, and is just 15 minutes from downtown Hamilton. With more than 5,000 vehicles per day and 300,000 travellers per year using the airport, Titanium Park is the perfect location for a range of industrial and commercial operators targeting national and global markets.
Deciding on a location for a business is no longer just a function of being close to cheap land and labour, and access to basic infrastructure and services. Global and local trends have seen the rising importance of clustering near like-minded businesses and growing markets, proximity to transport links, and access to world-class technology infrastructure. What’s more, there is an increased focus on meeting the lifestyle and work flexibility expectations of today’s knowledge-based workforce.
The first phase of the development is complete with the opening last year of online retailer Torpedo 7’s first building, a 13,000 sqm distribution facility serving as their nationwide logistics hub. Planning is now underway for a further large distribution facility and 3,000-4,000sqm head office building to support Torpedo 7’s growth. This is part of Torpedo 7’ planned $100m investment at Titanium Park over the next five years.
The Torpedo 7 distribution centre provides evidence of the growing importance of the ‘bricks and clicks’ phenomenon; that is the trend of online shopping and large, highly efficient distribution centres delivering the goods to the purchaser within 48 hours. Titanium Park is uniquely placed to benefit from this growing trend given its location, proximity to markets and connectivity.
More than 830 people are already employed by businesses around Titanium Park and the airport, and this number is tipped to exceed 3,000 on the Park’s completion in 2022.
Unsurprisingly, amenity is becoming a powerful drawcard when it comes to deciding on business location. Great places to work are more attractive to employees and reduce sick days and turnover, which has an impact on a business’ bottom line and reputation.
With the Titanium Park development now well underway, more attractive amenities will follow. These range from well-designed buildings and green spaces, fitness trail and gym, to a crèche, café and restaurant, service station and retail centre. The effect will transform this already desirable location into an even more appealing hub for Waikato’s successful and growing businesses.
Shaw’s Wire Ropes
Longstanding Waikato manufacturer Shaw’s Wire Ropes has purchased a 1.3 hectare site within the newly opened Central Precinct, stage two of the Titanium Park business development.
Shaw’s, a wire rope, rigging and lifting equipment specialist, has been supplying New Zealand’s marine, forestry and transport sectors for more than 100 years.
Shaw’s Managing Director Jonny Schick believes Titanium Park’s strategic location will appeal to a wide range of businesses from import and distribution to manufacturing, technology and even commercial office space.
“Titanium Park’s proximity to the Airport, and to Hamilton, Cambridge and Te Awamutu, is great for staff and customers,” says Mr Schick. “Future road links will significantly benefit both the Airport and Titanium Park businesses, and improve logistics for national operators.”
He also observes that Titanium Park enjoys a heightened exposure thanks to its proximity to the well-patronised local events centre, Mystery Creek.
Mr Schick expects the Waikato region will experience both strong population and economic growth over the next 10 years. “Hamilton and surrounding districts are likely to profit the most from this, including the Airport. As Hamilton Airport’s operations grow, it stands to reason that Titanium Park landholders will benefit.”
And with a current lack of pressure on land supply in the Waikato, Mr Schick says location is key to maximising asset worth. “Good Airport land is limited so I’d expect the land value to reflect this in the short to medium term.”
CTC Aviation provides training facilities and accommodation for more than 200 trainee pilots and instructors. The company has been on a strong growth trajectory since establishing itself at Hamilton International Airport in 2006, increasing turnover from $2.6 million to $12 million in 2012. CTC Aviation predicts it will inject $95 million into the local economy over the next 10 years.
Attracting trainees from all around the world, the centre has a very international outlook. Based on a prime 1.8 hectare site adjacent to the main airport runway, the 1,765sqm purpose-built training centre houses 10 briefing rooms, nine large lecture rooms, a crew room, two simulators, planning and operations facilities, and a large suite of management and administration offices.
“This is a great location for us,” says Jodi Kitchen, Marketing Coordinator, CTC Aviation. “We bring staff here from all over the country. Hamilton is central to many of the main centres nationwide.”
CTC operates a busy site: flight instructors and student pilots work on a roster of morning, afternoon and night shifts. There is currently a team of 100 staff, including 68 flight instructors, a team of ground school instructors, support staff, administration and management. It also has between 190 and 250 cadets training with it at any one time.
The benefits of being located nearby a high-profile business park aren’t lost on CTC, says Ms Kitchen.
“We’re looking forward to the additional amenities and retail services that will come as Titanium Park develops. It will complement the training facilities and accommodation we provide for our more than 200 trainee pilots and instructors.
“And with the increased traffic Titanium Park will bring, we will gain more exposure, which will lead to more enquiries about what we do and the courses we offer.”
Pacific Aerospace, located at Hamilton Airport, has been making rugged, high-performance utility aircraft for over 60 years.
The company, which employs 110 staff, is vertically integrated from the aircraft design and certification, machining and forming of metal and composite components to the assembly of the aircraft and its systems and test flights.
“Because of the specialised nature of our work, Pacific Aerospace is a league of nations,” says Steve Peters, Marketing Manager, Pacific Aerospace. “We also have a lot of international visitors – from Russia, China, Thailand, Australia. So location is much broader than just the Waikato; connectivity with other centres, particularly Auckland, is extremely valuable. We’re just 90 minutes from Auckland – most of our visitors tend to fly into Auckland, then hire a car to drive to Hamilton. It’s very fast.”
Logistics are a crucial aspect of Pacific Aerospace’s operations. Access to a highly effective freight network is important to maintain momentum. “We’re within easy reach of road, air and rail transport options, which allows our business to keep pace with incoming and outgoing deliveries.”
The changing dynamics of the area, too, are very positive, says Mr Peters.
“It’s encouraging for our overseas visitors to see the activity in the area – new buildings, new infrastructure. Visitors get a real sense of growth and energy, which sends a positive signal about the region and the economy.”