NZ’s biggest warehouse: 7.7ha Māngere giant for Foodstuffs North Island stores 80,000 pallets

Staff have moved into New Zealand’s biggest new building which has nearly 8ha of indoor floorspace, equivalent to eight rugby fields.

Chris Quin, Foodstuffs North Island chief executive, said two new buildings on the site at Māngere on land leased for 30 years from Auckland Airport were now staffed.

The 77,500sq m ambient distribution centre [DC] now being stocked has by far the largest footprint of any building in this country, he said.

The 7.7ha centre where 350 people work stands beside the new 9000sq m headquarters or support office where around 950 people work on the same site at 35 The Landing Dr.

John Dakin, Goodman Property Trust chief executive, confirmed that a building with a 7.7ha footprint would be this country’s largest. The trust’s largest is its 52,000sq mLinfox distribution centre, also at Māngere. The Sistema building nearby is around 60,000sq m.

The Australian has reported how that country’s largest new building is the 200,000sq m fulfilment centre for online retail behemoth Amazon in Sydney’s Oakdale west, being built by Goodman. Its site is equivalent to the size of Melbourne’s Chadstone shopping centre or about 24 rugby league fields, the Australian said.

Quin said the new Foodstuffs North Island DC at Māngere’s 35 The Landing Dr off George Bolt Memorial Dr replaced eight buildings including in Rotorua, to centralise grocery distribution operations in the country’s most densely populated area of the upper North Island.

Goods for more than 100 of Foodstuffs North Island’s 153 supermarkets are serviced from the new 7.8ha distribution centre. The business has another DC in Palmerston North.

Quin announced the move in February 2018, saying then they would shift in 2020.

Monk McKenzie designed the new HQ, explaining how it was “conceived conceptually as an elegant structure that emerges from the surrounding landscape. Constructed earth bunds at both ends of the building rise to meet a concrete roof that arcs across the building’s 100m length. This singular gesture emphasises the co-operative grocer’s connections with the land and the movement from garden to table – a movement from the rawness of the landscape to the crafted interior.”

Eclipse Architecture designed the DC.

Quin said it was important for Foodstuffs to pick Kiwi architects. Although buildings were finished on time towards the end of last year, it was not convenient to move before Christmas, he said.

Lindsay Rowles, Foodstuffs North Island’s membership and property general manager, headed the development work and said the site was “absolutely perfect”.

Hawkins built the new 5-star certified HQ. Macrennie Auckland built the DC which has 2915 solar roof panels to generate all the HQ’s electricity.

Tim O’Leary, Macrennie DC project manager, said: “It was daunting and exciting to take on this project as the 13th biggest single roof warehouse in the world. It’s the largest we’ve undertaken.”

Sixteen 200-tonne mobile cranes lifted 7000sq m of structural steel for the project.

Up to 80,000 pallets can be stored in the new DC, stacked up to 14 pallets high in the central area under an A-shaped roof.

The HQ’s ground floor has a metro-style supermarket, click and collect lockers, Pikopiko Espresso cafe, commercial kitchen, bar, boardroom, informal reception area and conference space for up to 300 people.

The new hub will be officially opened on April 28.

THE NUMBERS – 35 Landing Dr, Māngere

• 100m: length of Foodstuffs’ new HQ;
• 77,500sq m: floor area of Landing Drive distribution centre, eight rugby fields, largest footprint of a new building in New Zealand;
• 9000sq m new head office/support centre
• 1000 staff work in two new buildings;
• Construction took 376 days and 358,366 hours;
• 47,000 shrubs and trees planted;
• 85 per cent of waste recycled from construction;
• 100 per cent of water for toilets and plants collected from rainwater;
• 2915 solar panels on distribution centre roof;
• 36 electric vehicle chargers on-site for staff;
• 750 trees planted in Pamoa Forest, Gisborne – one for every new HQ chair;
• 1.3km walk around the entire campus.
• 13,000 tonnes of concrete to build the distribution centre
• 74,956 pallets can be stored in the distribution centre;
• Largest bank of semi-automated satellite (robotic) racking in New Zealand;
• 14 fully automatic Wulftec wrapping stations, used for pallet wrapping;
• 100 per cent electric LDDC forklifts and reach trucks;
• 25 Toyota BT reach trucks with cameras and lasers to reach up to 12m high;
• 1000 car parks for staff;
• Two back-up generators for power outages.

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