Northgate Business Park's solitary building will soon have a neighbour.
The business park is home to a Waikato Milking Systems factory.
Now construction has begun on a second building that will house the company's administration headquarters and another factory.
Northgate is a 109-hectare commercial development at Horotiu, 8km north of Te Rapa.
At the moment the new building is just a pad and a few concrete walls.
But once it is complete - scheduled for May 2015 - it will be where Waikato Milking Systems builds its most sophisticated machinery.
Milking machines and associated electronics will be produced in the building.
It will also contain offices for administration staff and a warehouse that will be shared with the other Waikato Milking Systems factories.
"I think it's about as flash as you can make a tin shed," says Waikato Milking Systems executive chairman John Anderson.
The building will be about 4000 square metres, roughly the same size as the existing building.
The entire Waikato Milking Systems site is 1.6ha.
About 45 staff work at the site currently.
Once the new building is complete, that number will rise to 120, consolidating four Waikato Milking Systems sites from Matamata and around Hamilton.
Anderson says construction was always planned in two stages, moving divisions of the company from their previous locations in logical steps.
"It's all been co-ordinated as well as you can, in terms of buildings coming off leases."
The existing building has been up and running since November last year.
Three factories operate under the one roof, building rotary milking platforms and other components out of stainless steel and composites.
"When you talk about a milking machine, you've got a lot of different disciplines to make the thing work," says Anderson."
Waikato Milking Systems has about 60 per cent of the New Zealand market share in terms of new system installations per season, installing on average 150 per year.
It also exports systems to countries including China, Britain, and even Russia.
Everything built on the site can be put in containers for transport around the country or overseas.
Anderson says one major factor in choosing Northgate over other business parks in the Waikato was that the owner of Northgate was previously a majority shareholder in Waikato Milking Systems.
However the biggest reason for the location choice was its road connection to Auckland, where most of the exported systems leave the country.
Photo by Chris Hillock.
- Waikato Times