Tainui Group Holdings (TGH), the commercial arm of Waikato Tainui, has unveiled long term plans for significant investment in the Kirikiriroa-Hamilton central city, commencing with a major, multi-year redevelopment of Centre Place in conjunction with its JV partner Kiwi Property.
TGH chair Hinerangi Raumati-Tu’ua says the plans are exciting, good for the city, and will also better utilise the almost 13 hectares, Waikato-Tainui owns in the central city.
“Kirikiriroa-Hamilton is one of the fastest-growing cities in Aotearoa-NZ and two years ago was judged the most beautiful large city in the country. We need to ensure that the quality of central city development also reflects this and is fit for the changing needs in the 21st century,” Ms Raumati-Tu’ua says.
“By utilising existing Waikato-Tainui land holdings in the central city, we aim to create a strong sense of place and vibrancy for all who visit and live and work in the city, while adding significant long-term economic value for our 78,000 members,” she says.
Currently, TGH manages around 43,000 sqm of commercial office space in the central city serving over 90 tenant organisations, along with 775 carparks and 345 hotel rooms.
Its recent city centre investments include a 40-room extension of the Novotel Hamilton Tainui hotel, the development of a new 8,500 sqm regional centre for ACC, and entering a 50% joint venture with KiwiProperty to own and operate Centre Place. In October 2021 TGH also purchased the commercial building occupied by The Warehouse in central Hamilton.
Chris Joblin, CEO of Tainui Group Holdings says the plan to reinvigorate the central city reflects TGH’s long-term commitment to Kirikiriroa and the wider Waikato region and to working with other public and private sector organisations that share a similar vision.
“Effective connections with local and regional transport networks are key and are at the forefront of our plans to refresh and re-activate Centre Place. Taking Auckland’s Britomart as a reference we see the potential for a transport-oriented development to reaffirm Centre Place as the heartbeat of the central city. Centre Place will connect to the adjacent bus transport centre, and longer-term we are looking to reactivate New Zealand’s oldest underground commuter train station mothballed below Centre Place with the support of central and local government and KiwiRail to help us activate this public amenity,” says Mr Joblin.
The remodelled Centre Place will include new multi-level sustainable office space to cater to the needs of national organisations relocating to Hamilton, and for local businesses looking for quality and location and be completed by high-rise residential apartment living, restaurants, bar and entertainment precinct, and more retail shopping boasting international brands.
Clive Mackenzie, CEO of Kiwi Property says the company is excited to bring its experience in developing mixed-use communities to create a vibrant heart for the city.
“With its strategic location and strong transport links, Centre Place will be a mixed-use development where the community can work, live, eat, shop and play. The asset’s outstanding public transport connectivity will help make it a dynamic hub for the people of Kirikiriroa-Hamilton,” he says.
Hamilton City Mayor Paula Southgate has welcomed the plans to invest in Centre Place.
“These developments will bring more people into the central city and lend even more momentum to the transformation of and investment into the central city that’s already underway.”
Major investments include the new Waikato Regional Theatre, Victoria on The River and more. It’s a very positive and exciting time for the city. We will be working with TGH to ensure adequate infrastructure capacity is in place to support the redevelopment,” Mayor Southgate said.
Video Link – A 25-Year Vision for Hamilton’s Central City