The story of Smales Farm goes back several generations to 1879 when James Henry Smale emigrated from Cornwall and settled on Auckland’s North Shore.
In 1928, James’s son, William Henry (Bill) Smale, took over a quarry on the corner of Northcote and Taharoto Roads from his father-in-law Henry Hopper Adams. Later, in 1944, Bill bought the nearby land that became known as Smales Farm. The site continued as a stock and dairy farm under the stewardship of brothers Jim and Geoff Smale while they ran the neighbouring quarry until their retirement at ages 90 and 80. In the 1990’s, their sons Greg, Chris and Bill helped form the first Board of Directors which shaped the original vision for the site as an office park. Greg leading the property development strategy, Chris the financial analysis and Bill the community integration which, combined with the experience of the older generation, made the ambitious vision into a reality.
On June 11, 1997 ground was officially broken for construction of what is now The Vodafone Building, in a deal that marked the largest single tenant relocation in the New Zealand property market. This building signalled the start of a new era for Smales Farm – a place for New Zealand’s smartest businesses to grow.
Still owned by the Smale Family to this day, and now managed by a commercial team of property professionals led by CEO Paul Gunn, The Farm provides a place for innovation, with growth still a key driver. “Aspiring to be the best has required us to really think through what that means,” says Director Greg Smale. “For us, it means building the kind of environment where people actually want to go to work. It means good design that attends to all the dimensions of the workplace. It means delivering the best to all our stakeholders: the people who work in our buildings, the companies who operate from our buildings, the local community and – in the widest sense – shouldering responsibility as good corporate citizens to make a positive contribution to the economy and country as a whole.”
The Board of Directors now comprises Greg Smale, Chris Smale, Bill Smale, Kerry Hitchcock, Dianne McAteer and Chairman Ian Braddock as the next phase of growth at Smales Farm begins; development of a new space that is lean and efficient in design, connects with the community and inspires its employees.
The Smales Farm development continues towards a target of more than 160,000 sqm of commercial space and an onsite community of over 14,000 people – while contributing significantly to the local region and New Zealand economy.
Smales Farm is the home of some of the most technologically advanced buildings in New Zealand. With innovative, flexible infrastructures, these buildings are future-proofed and showcase key features of environmentally sustainable architecture – saving energy and reducing operating costs. Smales Farm is a proud member of both the New Zealand Green Building Council and Property Council New Zealand.
Sovereign House. Sovereign’s state-of-the-art headquarters at Smales Farm designed by BVN combines an aesthetically striking design, environmentally friendly features and leading-edge technology.
Described as ‘evolutionary and experimental’, Sovereign House was also said to be able to ‘stand alongside the small number of inspirational examples of office buildings from around the world’ by John Hunt, Professor of Architecture at the University of Auckland.
The Q4 Building. Designed with sustainability front of mind, the Q4 Building houses a variety of hospitality and retail offerings on the ground floor, with premium office space above.
The Air New Zealand Building. Opened in December 2001, the Air New Zealand building demonstrates quality, durability at low operating costs, whilst also leveraging tenant comfort and convenience.
The Vodafone Building. Opened in 1999 and designed by leading architects Warren and Mahoney, The Vodafone Building is the largest at Smales Farm. Designed to meet international best practice in terms of design, flexibility and sustainability, it continues to provide an innovative solution for a large, competitive business. The building is presently undergoing a major re-fit to become home to all of Vodafone’s Auckland employees.