Auckland builds innovation hub for emerging tech companies

Auckland builds innovation hub for emerging tech companies

The era of disruption has hit taxis with Uber, hotels with Airbnb, and now commercial landlords are being forced to adapt.

Emerging tech companies are becoming some of the biggest tenants, but they no longer want to sign up for long leases.

To cater for them, Auckland is building an innovation hub.

Auckland Council is spending $30 million to help set up the innovation hub at Wynyard Quarter - two new buildings just to promote bright ideas.

"The more commercial development we see around the city that has this innovation focus, that can be part of this innovation system, the more we are going to develop a high-value economy for Auckland long-term," says ATEED's Brett O'Riley.

Auckland's internet and high-tech and industry is already worth $7.8 billion a year. Future growth is being incubated in more and more shared workspaces. There are now 13 in the super city - a big change compared to two years ago.

"The commercial property sector was unsure of this new kind of shared workspace, co-working operators and what that means around new models in how these businesses wanted to engage," says Jonah Merchant of BizDoJo.

It's a worldwide trend where tech companies are the new tenants, but in a quickly changing industry, old long-term leases are too restrictive.

"If you go Hong Kong or Singapore, those shorter leases have become the norm in the last 10 years, so I think that traditional landlords in Australia and New Zealand are catching up," says Nick Hargreaves of JLL Real Estate.

They might have to catch up quickly. The tech sector has grown rapidly, and companies now too big for their shared start-up spaces are looking for flexible landlords.


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