University of Auckland to purchase The Lion Brewery Site

Last year, the University of Auckland announced a proposal to purchase the 5.2ha former Lion Breweries site in Newmarket following a period of due diligence. I am delighted to confirm that the due diligence process has now been completed and the University of Auckland Council have confirmed the acquisition of the site, effective 31 May 2013.

This momentous decision signifies the beginning of a period of long-term development of the site, spanning a 30 year timeframe, to create a mixed use campus, with purpose-built teaching and research facilities, student accommodation, business development and other facilities. The Newmarket Campus will join the City and Grafton Campuses to create an integrated campus cluster, supporting long term growth and enabling the University to deliver the full benefits of a multi-disciplinary, world-ranked research university.

Work will begin on demolishing many of the old brewery facilities as soon as the University takes possession of the site in June. The first projects to be undertaken on the Newmarket site will be the total refurbishment of some existing buildings to provide for greatly enhanced engineering research space and the construction of a new civil structures hall. This work will be a prelude to the extensive refurbishment and new build of the Faculty of Engineering facilities on the City Campus at a cost in the region of $200m. Further development on the Newmarket campus will be staged as demands for new facilities arise and will be delivered in the context of a framework plan already developed for the site.

This, of course, has major implications for Newmarket in the medium and long term and will impact on every aspect of commerce and development in our precinct. The number of people living, or commuting into, Newmarket will at least double over time. This influx will affect transport decisions, residential housing, infrastructure, amenities – and, of course, the business direction of Newmarket. Over time we can expect to see new businesses and services providing the educational and leisure opportunities demanded by this significant new group.

Updates and more information about the drivers for, and benefits of, this important acquisition will be available at from noon today.

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