Khyber Buy Back Welcomed


AMP has now given up its quest to develop the old Lion Breweries site in Khyber Pass over the road from the station and sold it back to the brewery.
And that’s been welcomed today by local business people.
In 2007 the Lion Brewery site on Khyber Pass Road,  was sold to AMP Capital Investors for $162 million to be redeveloped as high-end commercial, residential and retail development but there has still be no announcement about what’s happening to the site.
AMP Capital Investors investment fund has now announced it’s failed to secure capital funding for redevelopment - so today came the announcement that Lion Nathan has bought it back.

Newmarket Business Association’s Lea Worth says: “With AMP buying this huge piece of dirt at the top of the market, it was always going to be a difficult transaction to complete. This news is very positive and could save both parties and the city from years of legal wrangling.

“”The challenge for the new super city council is to ensure this huge site is one day a great high-quality mixed use development,” says Mrs Worth.
“We need to get this site right. Its 5.2 hectares and sits on a key Newmarket gateway. We’re delighted that Lion Nathan is now the owner again. We look forward to working with future developers on getting the commercial, residential and retail mix right.
” Newmarket is fast becoming Auckland City’s second commercial district and getting the best possible outcome for this huge brewery site is paramount to Newmarket’s success.
Earlier this year, the Newmarket Business Association raised concerns that there was no master-plan on the table, and with Lion Nathan exiting, the site was set to” become derelict and another Soho”
Mrs Worth says that with Lion Nathan now buying back the site, they will ensure that the site is kept tidy as they always have.

There were fears the brewery site would have become Soho II

The brewery is still using the yard at the location although it has largely relocated to a new facility in East Tamaki.

LION: Its Khyber Pass factory was to have been re-developed

Hopefully Lion Nathan will have better luck in finding development opportunities.

Nearby Grafton has become one of my favourite train stations.

It is interestingly underground but you can still see the sky and the walls have the interesting Grafton-related images to look at instead of ugly tagging.

But it needs some interesting retail life around it. Please no carparks.
A few weeks ago, high winds buffeting Auckland city dislodged part of the roofing on the 5.2 hectare plant and sent the galvanised iron hurtling towards an oncoming train just over the fence from the brewery yard at the  Kingdon St crossing.

The train managed to brake in time.




  1. rtc says:

    I wonder what this means?

  2. DanC says:

    Funding is hard to get at the moment. When lending increases I hope development commences for some high quality retail / residential space. It’s such a great location being so close to transport / parks / shopping / eating & drinking.

  3. karl says:

    I wonder how much Lion Nathan made from the whole sale-repurchase. They sold at the top of the market - I’d be surprised if they now paid more than, say, $120-130 million at most.

  4. Johans says:

    God I hope they don’t go selling it off to some nut who wants to build more of those ugly soviet style apartments.

  5. Nick R says:

    This is the perfect site for a mixed use, transit oriented development. Anchored by train stations on either end with the Central Connector along one side, all within walking distance to central Newmarket, the domain and the medical precinct.

    With 56,000m2 land area there is massive potential here. The site is almost four times the size of 277 for example, they could get a lot of workplaces, retail, apartments and community facilities in there.

  6. karl says:

    “who wants to build more of those ugly soviet style apartments.”

    Lol, I do think we have learned a bit. Urban design panel, minimum apartment sizes and the fact that there’s a glut of apartments in Newmarket and CBD for sale should help prevent such an outcome.


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