A conversation with Hamish Wilton at Mackersy Property

Hamish Wilton at Mackersy Property

In this conversation, Co-CEO Mark Hurley sits down with Hamish Wilton, CEO of Mackersy Property, to explore the company's evolution, the strategic investment in Cardinal Logistics' advanced warehouse, and Mackersy's commitment to innovation and sustainability in real estate.

Hamish, Mackersy Property has established itself as a leader in the commercial property market across New Zealand. Could you share some insights into the company’s journey and the key factors behind its success and resilience in this sector?

Mackersy Property, as it is known today, was formed in 2020 following a restructuring of Mitchell Mackersy Lawyers and Maori Hill Property. The business's DNA, stemming from Ron Mackersy’s strong ethics and entrepreneurial vision in the 1990s, centres on the principle that good assets with long leases should be the focal point for investors—a belief still upheld by Mackersy Property.

Yes, we have had our challenges—the current market and economic headwinds are the most recent examples—but we always stand by our investors through the ups and downs, with an unwavering focus on the long-term gains commercial property provides, which enables our investor to achieve the lifestyle they desire.

The recent acquisition of Cardinal Logistics' fully automated 22,437m2 warehouse represents a significant investment by Mackersy in Auckland’s industrial and logistics market. What was the strategic vision behind this investment?

The new, fully automated logistics warehouse we are developing for Cardinal Logistics in Drury, Auckland, epitomises Mackersy Property's core investment principles: high-quality assets, long-term leases, and reliable tenants. Our extensive history with Cardinal Logistics encompasses seven projects, including multiple new-build logistics facilities.

This warehouse will be something else! It is 29m tall and fully automated, one of the first of its kind in the region. You have to see it to believe it: Cardinal Logistics Warehouse Video.

This innovation and a 38-year lease to a well-established tenant add a premium layer to an already solid investment. We are excited to offer this to our investors and are confident it will become one of Mackersy Property’s flagship industrial assets in the forthcoming years.

How do you see technological innovation shaping the future of industrial real estate? Is the Cardinal Logistics building part of a larger theme for Mackersy focused on innovation in industrial real estate, or was that a unique opportunity?

Technological innovation impacts every aspect of our lives, inevitably shaping the future of industrial real estate—this is exciting! Our tenants and their customers’ evolving demands for products and services mean that logistics and other sectors must adapt. The Cardinal Logistics building represents our broader commitment to innovation in real estate, not merely a one-off opportunity.

We believe all our assets must be adaptable to meet tenants’ needs and aspirations. Whether it involves integrating robotics in logistics or developing carbon-neutral office buildings, we are dedicated to collaborating with tenants to create properties that benefit all parties involved.

With sustainability becoming increasingly vital in real estate, could you discuss any green initiatives or sustainable practices Mackersy Property has integrated into its operations or property developments?

Mackersy Property prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives. We have a significant number of properties, particularly office spaces that are Green Star or NABERS rated, and we aim to increase this number.

Our five offices participate in the Toitū accreditation programme, and we are exploring ways to enhance the sustainability performance of our buildings and tenants. Although we cannot mandate sustainability practices for our tenants or investors, we strive to facilitate and encourage the adoption of more sustainable practices. Our goal is to become the preferred choice for investors and tenants, with sustainability as a fundamental aspect of our strategy.

Considering current market trends, what are the biggest challenges and opportunities you see for Mackersy Property in the coming years?

We frequently discuss the cyclical nature and long-term returns of commercial real estate. The current economic pressures, including the sharp increase in debt servicing costs, have reintroduced significant challenges. The ongoing global response to COVID-19, lacking a clear economic precedent, has led to market volatility and uncertainty, affecting confidence. However, these circumstances also present opportunities for astute investors who remain strategically engaged.

Although the market is currently subdued for various reasons, the post-COVID period ended a prolonged growth phase. Since the commercial property market is closely linked to debt servicing costs, we anticipate a resurgence in confidence as these costs decrease. In the next year, we expect to uncover excellent opportunities for those who are adept at navigating market cycles. Our focus will remain on securing well-situated industrial properties, our core area of expertise. Additionally, we foresee potential growth in the retail sector, especially in large-format retail, a trend that is gaining popularity globally and is expected to emerge in New Zealand.

Mackersy Property prides itself on offering bespoke property solutions. Could you share an example of a project that exemplifies this approach and the impact it had on your clients?

Mackersy Property excels in delivering customised property solutions and is adept at swiftly identifying and capitalising on opportunities. We cater to investors seeking unique investments, managing the syndication of small to medium-sized assets tailored for individual or group clients. Our expertise also extends to "fund-through" ventures, managing projects from start to finish, mitigating risks, and maintaining close collaboration with developers, tenants, and constructors.

Our work on the Christchurch Fresh Distribution Centre for Woolworths demonstrates this capability. Additionally, the fully-automated Drury Logistics Warehouse developed for Cardinal Logistics, anchored by a 38-year lease, stands as a testament to our commitment to providing substantial, long-term investment opportunities.


To learn more about Mackersy, and their investment opportunities visit their website here.

Mark Hurley - Co-CEO Caruso

Mark Hurley


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