Gritty character buildings a focus for Wynyard Innovation Precinct

Waterfront Auckland has earmarked a 90-year-old building as the cornerstone for its new space.

Waterfront Auckland has chosen to keep the existing character buildings for the upcoming waterfront innovation precinct, naming the 90-year-old John Lysaght building as a “cornerstone” in the development.

Work will start in June on refitting the buildings, in a push for a development that will cost $17m over 10 years with another $10m for refurbishment.

Waterfront Auckland’s Stephen Rainbow said the character buildings could in theory have been completely bulldozed to pave the way for new developments in Wynyard Central, but the organisation has chosen to retain the character spaces.

Rainbow cited two reasons: to provide a contrast to the large amount of new development that would be taking place in the area; and also due to the feedback from startups that they would rather be in heritage or character style spaces.

Nextspace, for example, currently occupies the North Sails building next to John Lysaght.

The innovation precinct will focus on ICT and digital media companies and is intended to put Auckland on the map as a cluster of like-minded businesses in the Asia-Pacific region.

A new website has been launched to track the project and provide information to startups looking to get into the space as prospective tenants at  

The Wynyard Central area is set within Madden Street, Halsey Street, Pakenham Street and Daldy Street, while the Innovation Precinct will take up around half of that space on the Halsey Street side (see map). wynyard innovation precinct map

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