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Search for Auckland Showgrounds operator underway

Bayleys Real Estate has been appointed by the Cornwall Park Trust Board to seek a potential operator or tenant(s) for either all or specific parts of the Auckland Showgrounds.

Features of the Auckland Showgrounds include:

  • a total floor area of approximately 22,500sqm across six large event/exhibition halls that range from approximately 1,750sqm (Hall 6) to 6,000sqm (Hall 3 & 4)

  • a large outdoor arena space

  • substantial car parking

  • seminar rooms

  • a commercial kitchen and other supporting amenities.

Located at 217 Green Lane West, Epsom, the Auckland Showgrounds is one of Auckland’s largest events and exhibitions centres. The facility has multiple large halls, expansive outdoor areas, and substantial car parking, and is located in the heart of New Zealand’s biggest city.

The Cornwall Park Trust Board Inc owns the property.

Trust Board chair Adrienne Young-Cooper says the Showgrounds site is one of several parcels of land surrounding Cornwall Park that were gifted to the city by former Auckland mayor and philanthropist Sir John Logan Campbell to finance the ongoing operation and development of Cornwall Park.

“Sir John’s intention was that the park would provide New Zealanders with the opportunity to enjoy and experience nature in New Zealand’s biggest city,” says Young-Cooper.

“Thanks to his foresight, and to the work of generations of trustees who have built on his legacy for more than 120 years, that is exactly what has happened and continues to happen.”

Trust Board CEO Murray Reade says reliable commercial revenue from the Showgrounds site is required to assist in meeting the costs of operating Cornwall Park.

Until mid-2021 the Auckland Showgrounds had been operated by the Auckland Agricultural Pastoral and Industrial Shows Board.

The Shows Board went into voluntary liquidation during mid-2021 after being impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns. This resulted in the ownership of the built assets at Auckland Showgrounds reverting to the Trust Board, which already owned the Showgrounds land.

The NZ Exhibition & Events Company Limited was recently appointed as interim operator of the Auckland Showgrounds to enable events, exhibitions and shows to continue to take place and forward bookings to be made in parallel to the expressions of interest process.

Bayleys Real Estate head of insights, data and consulting Chris Farhi says the Auckland Showgrounds represents a rewarding opportunity for the right operator.

“The location is outstanding. The Showgrounds is less than 30 minutes’ drive from almost anywhere in the Auckland metropolitan area and is close to major motorways, including the nearby State Highway 1. The Greenlane train station is only a short walk away and the site is on or near several bus routes.”

His colleague Steve Rendall confirms that expressions of interest are welcome for the entire site or specific parts of the site.

“We welcome interest from an overall operator or tenant for the entire Auckland Showgrounds property, as well as operator(s) or tenant(s) for specific parts of the property (e.g. specific halls, car parking, etc). Operators of one-off events may also respond but will generally be referred to the interim operator to explore opportunities for bookings.”

Chris Farhi further notes the Trust Board is open-minded as to the commercial arrangement. “The Trust Board is open-minded as to the commercial arrangements that could apply and will welcome the opportunity to work with the successful party/parties on a collaborative basis to optimise the outcome for both parties.”

The first round of the expressions of interest process closes on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. The next steps in the process will be determined by the Trust Board once responses have been received and reviewed.

All commercial enquiries regarding the expressions of interest process are to be directed to Chris Farhi and Steve Rendall of Bayleys Real Estate in the first instance.

All media enquiry is to be directed to John Redwood at GRC Partners.

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