Article originally published in The New Zealand Herald
What is the Sleepyhead Estate?
Sleepyhead Estate is a $1 billion industrial manufacturing and affordable housing development at Ohinewai, in north Waikato, about 5km north of Huntly.
How big will it be?
Sleepyhead owner Comfort Group has bought 176ha of rural land where it intends to develop a mixed-use community comprising 1100 houses, 66ha of industry and 60ha public open space. The new community would create a home for up to 3000 residents.
How much will the houses be?
Sleepyhead wants its staff to be able to buy their own homes. The goal is to keep the house prices under $500,000. While the boss concedes this still isn’t as affordable as it could be, it certainly offers an alternative to the high prices in Auckland.
How many jobs will be created?
It’s estimated the move would create up to 1500 at Sleepyhead alone. However, this doesn’t factor in all the jobs that might branch off from development and the influx of people.
Why is Sleepyhead moving from Auckland?
Sleepyhead is squeezed for space, having outgrown Auckland. As a result it can’t grow like it wants to and it needs a new factory. The company is also concerned about the long commute its workers face in getting to work and home every day.
Will this just be another dormitory suburb of Auckland?
No. The master plan makes it self-sufficient, with facilities, shopping and lifestyle. The idea is for the development to be staged over a 10-year period. Sleepyhead hopes its first factory stage will be finished by the end of next year.