Call out to build superyacht refit yards

9:59 AM Saturday October 11, 2014 Colin Taylor

Artist's impression of the Wynyard superyacht refit site.

Expressions of interest are now being invited from marine and superyacht refit and yard operators and other parties interested in the development of a marine site on the Auckland waterfront in the Wynyard Quarter.

Waterfront Auckland - an Auckland Council entity - is offering a long-term leasehold interest in 16,241sq m of marine zoned land at 164-168 Beaumont St, immediately adjacent to Silo Marina, along with a water space licence over an area of 10,663sq m.

John Goddard of Colliers International who, with colleague Jason Seymour, is marketing the offer with a closing date of November 21, says the high-profile land is opposite Westhaven Marina, "the largest marina in the Southern Hemisphere", and is adjacent to the established 10-berth Silo Marina for superyachts.

"The successful party will be able to devise an appropriate infrastructure design to meet market demand and deliver the necessary returns," Goddard says. "Initial assessments by Waterfront Auckland suggest a facility that can cater for large superyachts of between 600 and 2000 tonnes.

The site can accommodate a full range of potential haul-out facilities including a synchro lift, dry dock, travel lift and floating dock."

Interim use of the development site has seen it operate as a home base for Italy's Luna Rossa America's Cup challenge in 2012-13 and, more recently, as a mast-stepping location for world-renowned marine supplier Southern Spars.

"The site has all the attributes to become a world-class superyacht refit facility," Goddard says. "It is unrivalled in terms of being close to the central city, its location among a cluster of sophisticated marine businesses and its access to the cruising grounds of the Hauraki Gulf.

"There's no doubt the site would provide a future investor and operator with a competitive advantage over other international yard locations."

Goddard says expressions of interest for the Wynyard Marine site are also being sought from developers and investors - including specialist marine infrastructure investors - joint venture participants and major tenants looking to secure a position in this key location.

He says the land is one of the last remaining prime waterfront blocks on the western edge of the city's waterfront.

Seymour says the Wynyard Marine site will be certain to benefit by the regeneration of the area as a whole.

"New Zealand's marine expertise is widely known internationally and, increasingly, so is our reputation as a global heavyweight in one of the fastest-growing markets - superyacht refit and maintenance.

"These luxury vessels have become a common sight on Auckland's waterfront in recent years with the development of Silo Marina by Waterfront Auckland. The success of this facility, combined with the world-class skills of local operators, has seen the word spread of New Zealand's potential as a refit destination.

"The new offer by Waterfront Auckland represents an opportunity to capitalise on this and take the marine service offer to the next level with rights to develop and operate a refit yard on the adjacent Auckland waterfront site to Silo Marina."

Seymour says Waterfront Auckland will also look to select one or more parties to participate in the second stage of the site development process. Within the current zoning parameters of 22,880sq m gross floor area (gfa), there is capacity for the development of 7550sq m gfa of marine, commercial and retail space and 6000sq m gfa of residential and/or serviced apartments.

Goddard says as part of the mixed use opportunity on the site, there is also the potential for a cafe or similar food and beverage use making the most of the views back to Westhaven Marina.

"Whether it's in Florida or Europe, refit yards by the nature of their operations are a hub of activity of visiting crews and local workers ensuring the additional amenity as part of this offer will certainly be well serviced."

Seymour says the design framework of Wynyard Quarter has already combined the character of an authentic working waterfront with inner-city living and open working spaces.

"This 'mixed use' approach will also be evident in the Wynyard Marine site, which will be sure to attract a new class of tenant for the residential and commercial parts of the site."

John Dalzell, CEO of Waterfront Auckland, says a regenerated Auckland waterfront is expected to become a key economic driver for the city in the future.

"It is forecast that by 2040 the waterfront redevelopment will contribute over $4 billion to Auckland's economy. Integral to the forecast is the marine sector with an upsurge in visiting vessels and refits that will bring more jobs and more economic activity for the surrounding marine precinct and the region as a whole."