15 Feb 2013

Property revamp to include IT and digital business hub

8:00 am on 15 February 2013

A $1 billion revamp of property along Auckland's waterfront includes plans to house an innovation hub for information technology and digital businesses.

Construction is about to start on the development of Wynard Central, next to Auckland's Viaduct, which will include residential and retail properties. A third of the area will be dedicated to the innovation hub.

Auckland Council is investing $17.5 million over the next 10 years in the development and will end up owning some of the buildings.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development chief executive Brett O'Reilly says the hub is modelled on a similar environment created by MIT in the US.

He says there could be 200 businesses located there during the day, with even more located there at night.

"It will be that interaction between businesses of all sizes that will hopefully speed some of these ideas to market much quicker."

Mr O'Reilly says about 100 businesses, both local and international, have already expressed interest in moving there.