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Huge stakes increases programmed for Alexandra Park will go ahead even after delays with one of the apartment blocks being built at the track.  And while admitting the delays were disappointing, ATC bosses say the racing business will continue to thrive.  ATC chief executive Dominique Dowding resigned on Friday for personal reasons, wanting to spend more time with an ill family member.  That has left former president Rod Croon in an executive director role until a new chief executive is found, which could be several months.  The transition period comes after a tough year off the track for the club which has seen lengthy delays to two residential and commercial towers at Alexandra Park, with original construction company Canam dismissed from one development and a subsequent legal battle between the two organisations.  The tower and a second one are now moving ahead well with Tower B to be the first opened in November this year. The more delayed Tower A will not open until April next year and the original owners of a small percentage of the 246 apartments have taken their deposits back and quit the building.  “Those apartments are going back to the market via Bayleys this week and we expect to sell them at a premium on what they were originally,” says Croon. But there is no denying the delays and construction issues will cut into the bottom line for the ATC.  “We have to be realistic about that but the good news for the racing industry is we are a trotting club and we intend to keep raising stakes because the industry needs that,” says Croon. “Those stakes increases are going to be funded long-term by the leases on the commercial spaces in the lower levels of the towers and those deals are still very much in place.  “So the stakes increases are here to stay.”  The increases start next week and are some of the largest in New Zealand racing history. They mean the normal Friday night meetings at Alexandra Park are going to match premier level stakes at other meetings in the country.  The club will still hold two races per standard meeting at $15,000 per race but all other races will be at $20,000 or $25,000 for the main pace and trot of the night.  That means, quite incredibly, a standard Friday night one-win band race at Alexandra Park will be worth twice as much as the same race at all mid-week thoroughbred meetings. The club holds it Woodlands Northern Derby meeting at Alexandra Park this Friday. Michael Guerin

Members of the Auckland Trotting Club formally received and signed off their 2017 Annual Report at the harness racings organisation’s Annual General Meeting this week. Chief Executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding, says considerable progress has been made on the club’s number one strategic priority to reinvigorate harness racing. This was helped by the fact that all 246 apartments in the club’s mixed-use development had sold unconditionally - raising nearly $295 million, with the ‘urban village’ on Green Lane West now well under construction. “The ongoing development of Green Lane West will ensure the club can keep revitalising both its venues and products going forward. For example, by 2018/19 the club will be receiving additional revenue via the likes of its new retail leases,” says Ms Dowding. Auckland Trotting Club president Bruce Carter says the past year was one of continued improvement for the club’s financial position, with a substantial uplift in the valuation of its total assets. This follows recent rezoning approval and subdivision consent for the rest of Alexandra Park’s Green Lane West frontage. “The club has increased its net asset base to $164m in 2017 and is one of the strongest asset-based racing clubs in New Zealand, something its members can be proud of,” he says. Overall the club reported a net surplus of over $6.5m for the 2016/17 financial year. It also reported an operating profit after depreciation and amortisation of $69,000 – which was $519,000 better than the $450,000 loss budgeted for the same period. Mr Carter reported on the growth in stakes, with the club’s goal to increase them further over the next five-years.  This year with the help of the NZ Racing Board, the club increased the minimum stake per race at Alexandra Park to $12,000 - the highest for a harness racing club in New Zealand. He says further increases to stakes will be made possible with the completion of the development. He thanked members for their ongoing support and reassured them the board and staff are fully committed to ensuring the Auckland Trotting Club’s core ideals are upheld. Ms Dowding reflected on the changing racing scene in recent decades, and how in 2013 the club’s board and management embarked on an ambitious and aggressive strategy with the vision to ensure future sustainability and control its own destiny. Since then, enormous work has gone into reshaping and extracting the highest and best use of the club’s land holdings. “Four years ago, when the strategy was deployed, we had a declining racing industry, funding had plateaued, over $16m in deferred maintenance, an asset that was in dire need of revitalisation, and an organisation that had flat-lined through a lack of reinvestment. “Today there are positive signs for our industry via the growth in funding, stakes and an extremely bright future for the business of the Auckland Trotting Club. An increase in industry funding has not only enabled an increase in our stakes, but the number of race meetings has also increased from 37 to 41 for the 2017/18 season.” The Annual Report showed that demand for Alexandra Park’s functions facilities and its meetings business continues. In 2016/17 the food and beverage division earned around $6.2m in revenue, with the function centre contributing around $4.6m of that. The functions team managed over 867 events, achieving occupancy levels consistent with the previous year. Race night dining grew strongly with revenue per race night up 16% on the previous year. While the sponsorship team was successful in attracting $790,000 of revenue - an increase of 6.5%. The club’s commissions from its onsite TAB increased following a staggering operating result. In the past year the TAB at Alexandra Park lifted its turnover from $15.7m to $22m - an annual turnover that puts it $10m higher than its closest TAB competitor and cements it as New Zealand’s largest. The club’s property division contributed $2.6m in revenue this year up from $2.3m in 2016. This was driven by an increase in income from the club’s existing rental properties and by strong parking revenues including from visiting campervans during the Lions Tour. Overall operational savings were also reported, and a commitment was made that costs will continue to be challenged throughout the organisation. Ms Dowding says 62% of the club’s total revenue is now generated by other departments outside of racing which continues to grow. Nonetheless at 38%, racing income growth remains important. Field sizes have increased from 9.3 to 9.7, while the amalgamation in recent years to create the Franklin Park Training Centre continues to deliver, with the numbers of horse training at Pukekohe lifting on average from 120 to 240. Looking forward to the coming year, the club will ensure the development is completed, as well as roll out its new strategic plan for the next five years – again in the name of sustaining harness racing into the future. In racing, the club aims to continue to raise the numbers of owners, young trainers and drivers helped by a continued lift in stakes, as well as work to attract and grow new audiences. On other aspects of its business the club will continue to improve customer service, focus on driving overall sales and additional revenue streams, as well as review its current assets and venues. With the opening of its urban village from next year, including new restaurants and cafes, the club is determined to “bring back Alexandra Park as an attractive destination”. At the Annual General Meeting, Auckland Trotting Club members voted on the election of board members and the return of Bruce Carter as president. Members also voted in a new constitution, and were advised that a decision around whether to roll out a further stage of the club’s urban village development would be made later this year or early next year after a review of market conditions. Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or (09) 630-9700

Alexandra Park, the home of harness racing in the North Island, has been named a finalist in the ‘Excellence in Marketing’ category for the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2017 - Central. Chief executive Dominique Dowding says Alexandra Park’s entry focused on the marketing success of their significant new urban village development, currently under construction on Green Lane West. Within 18 months of launching the development, Alexandra Park had sold all 246 apartments in stage one and two, achieving nearly $300m in sales by late last year. Research confirmed that from all the off-plan projects in Auckland, Alexandra Park achieved the highest values and was the fastest selling. Ms Dowding says being a finalist was a credit to the Auckland Trotting Club’s board, management team, staff, and key project partners such asColliers International. Alexandra Park’s urban village marketing strategy was ground-breaking, with its look and feel breaking from tradition and its clever targeting achieving the exact desired demographics. At the same time, it was backed by a strong internal communications programme which ensured the development got off the ground and stayed on track. “Marketing was key to our apartment sales and critical to the success of our ground-floor leasing for retail and hospitality. But it was more than that. We were one of the first examples in Auckland of a completely master-planned luxury lifestyle apartment product located in suburban context. We also broke the mould by convincing the likes of well-established locals and empty nesters to opt for apartment living which was quite a sea change for Auckland.” The chief executive says for a membership-based sporting organisation to receive this business acknowledgement in a largely corporate arena reflects just how comprehensively and successfully the club has commercially transformed in recent years. Alexandra Park congratulates all category finalists and looks forward to the gala dinner on 14 November for the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2017 - Central. For a full list of the Westpac Business Award finalists click here. For further information contact, Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or (09) 630-9700  

The Auckland Trotting Club is reviewing and resetting its overall business strategy, determined to commercially position a sustainable future for the business and harness racing, says Alexandra Park chief executive, Dominique Dowding “We did a major organisational overhaul a few years ago with our key strategic pillars being sustaining harness racing, finding new revenue sources, and growing the club’s property portfolio. We achieved all our strategies with our urban village development being the final one and so found ourselves at a crossroads,” she says. “Steady as she goes is just not an option so the board and management’s renewed focus is to take the organisation to the next level and ready the club commercially for the next decade.” Ms Dowding says the process of resetting the Auckland Trotting Club’s business strategy means assessing its products and services right across its broad operations. “Under our racing strategy we need to assist our trainers by finding a new breed of owners via syndicate participation and we see our younger Friday night racing attendees as the future of our industry. We’ll also be reviewing our function venues and attractions. “And with our property portfolio, it’s all about continuing to create a new destination with our urban village development for entertainment, lifestyle and hospitality to ensure substantial growth.” She says the construction of a new training centre and long-term lease by The Blues rugby franchise in 2015 has been a good move, with the club needing to not only attract further compatible tenants but increase the value of its leases. “I want us to move from an annual total turnover of $22m to $30m, sitting on a half billion dollars’ worth of assets in the coming decade. That’s where I believe we need to be, and with a stronger commercial model we can be. “We will also reflect on our governance structure to make sure the club is well served into the future, particularly given the increasing commercial complexity across our property portfolio and the sheer breadth of our business now.” Ms Dowding says the club remains very cognisant of its longstanding members, and the many traditions and practices that come with a 127-year-old organisation. However, in the five years that she has been chief executive she has been heartened at members’ ability to absorb and accept necessary change. “Our members know that if we are to remain racing in the 21st Century in Australasia’s fastest growing city, we need to fully transition into a commercial entity and this is exactly what this latest strategic reset is all about. We simply have to take a pretty aggressive approach if we are to keep growing to ensure the sustainability of the industry in the north.” The chief executive says attendance numbers are generally up for Alexandra Park’s Friday nights at the trots. What’s more is its race-night functions are also enjoying growth helped by the likes of well-promoted themed cuisine nights, and the club’s ‘value for money’ free parking, free entry, and free race book proposition. “We’re getting more people through the gate and constantly need to deliver a great experience so that we become the product of choice in what is a very crowded entertainment market in Auckland. “Our products need to be well priced, relevant and constantly refreshed. As well as keeping ahead with today’s fast moving marketing channels, we also need to keep attracting new sponsors while retaining our old ones. We’re getting good results, but the best thing we can now do is eye up the next decade to lock in our future.” She says despite years of static industry funding, moves this coming season bode well for racing. Recently the New Zealand Racing Board announced a substantial boost to stakes from 1 August, which will include harness racing. At the same time the number of Friday night meetings at Alexandra Park will increase from 37 to 41. As well as operational success, the Auckland Trotting Club’s asset base and reach is also strengthening. This includes the amalgamation with the Franklin Trotting Club which has delivered the industry an affordable training centre. Their large Epsom site continues to climb in value, thanks partly to the rezoning of a former carpark where 246 apartments are now under construction. More recently Auckland Council’s unitary plan has seen the rest of the club’s Green Lane West frontage zoned ‘mixed-use’, allowing for any future development the club may want to pursue. In 2015 and 2016 the club sold nearly $300m of freehold apartments, with Colliers International statistics confirming the development commanded some of the best prices in Auckland and was among the fastest selling. It will include some leading hospitality and retailers, with a FreshChoice supermarket already leased. “The fact we will have all these residents soon living at Alexandra Park is something we also have to factor into our planning. Not to mention all the visitors to the cafes and al fresco restaurants. Within the next two years we will have transitioned from being a trotting club and function centre to becoming a whole new urban village and heart for Epsom. “Not only will we get a new crowd coming through our gates, but we’ll also have hundreds of permanent residents who we’ll be encouraging to take out a membership and come along to our race nights.” The club is now actively investigating a further stage, with registrations of interest, via the development’s website to purchase any additional apartments, proving to be strong. Testament to the club’s transformational success was winning the supreme award for ‘Excellence in Strategy & Planning’ at the 2015 Westpac Business Awards. While in 2016 the chief executive won the ‘Women In Property’ award at the New Zealand Property Council’s inaugural Auckland Property People Awards. Ms Dowding says while the past five years of strategic planning and work has put the Auckland Trotting Club on a more commercial footing, the next five years must install commercial best practice across the business to ensure harness racing can remain a fixture in Auckland. “Everything we do is about racing. That will never change. The club may be resetting its business strategy, but our driving vision to protect and sustain the future of harness racing remains central to every decision we make,” says Ms Dowding. For further information contact Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or (09) 630-9700 

Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding has won the Property Council’s ‘Resene Women In Property’ award for her ongoing leadership on the significant urban village development currently under construction at 223 Greenlane West, Epsom. As chief executive Ms Dowding has led the board’s strategic turn-around of the 126-year old iconic Auckland Trotting Club to put it on a more commercial footing, ensuring its long-term financial sustainability and the survival of harness racing in the northern region. The award was part of the New Zealand Property Council’s inaugural Auckland Property People Awards 2016 held recently at the Viaduct Events Centre. The ‘Women In Property’ award criteria sought someone showcasing exceptional skills and dedication and who’s contribution has achieved outstanding things to their organisation and/or the property industry. The winner needed to exude the attributes and achievements that would make them a role model to other women in the industry and respected by industry peers. Ms Dowding says she is truly humbled to win the inaugural Women In Property award but says the credit belongs to others. “This is really a tribute to the Auckland Trotting Club board, our members, and our staff for embarking on this journey and their sheer dedication to deliver a first-class development. I am also incredibly indebted to our project partners including our lead architect RTA Studio, construction companies Canam and Ganellen, international urban designers Civitas, and our extremely capable project managers N-Compass,” says Ms Dowding.  As chief executive Ms Dowding has led the board’s strategic turn-around of the 126-year old iconic Auckland Trotting Club to put it on a more commercial footing, ensuring its long-term financial sustainability and the survival of harness racing in the northern region. A key component of the turn-around has been the decision to build a high-end urban village on part of the club’s car-park on Greenlane West. The mixed-use development will include 246 apartments, a grocer, boutique retail, and some soon to be announced cafes and restaurants. Only four townhouses, two apartments and one penthouse remain for sale with the project dubbed as one of Auckland’s largest brownfield developments and fastest selling.

Members of the Auckland Trotting Club formally received and signed off their 2016 Annual Report at the harness racing organisation’s Annual General Meeting last night. “The transformation has started and a bold new future is appearing for the Auckland Trotting Club,” said chief executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding. Upon reviewing the 2015/16 financial year, Ms Dowding highlighted initiatives the board is taking to turn around falling racing returns in the coming years. Initiatives have included the decision to incentivise those owners and trainers loyal to Alexandra Park from August this year with further rewards planned in the future.  Ms Dowding stressed that key to the club’s reinvestment into harness racing has been its success in other aspects of its business, particularly its high-end urban village redevelopment at 223 Green Lane West now under construction.  She reported to members that almost all of the 246 apartments in stage one and two have sold in just 18 months for a value in excess of $270m. The leasing of the development’s 5,000sqm ground floor retail space is also progressing well with many agreements of lease now signed. The approval in Auckland Council’s new unitary plan for the rest of the club’s Green Lane West frontage to be zoned ‘mixed-use’ was described as exciting news which would importantly allow for any future development the club may want to pursue.  Also adding to the property value of the Epsom site has been the construction of a new training centre and long-term lease by The Blues rugby franchise from January this year. An update was given to attendees on club’s agreed 2014 strategic vision which prioritises reinvigorating harness racing, growing the business including finding new revenue sources, as well as growing the value and returns within the club’s property portfolio. Over the past financial year, Ms Dowding said good progress was achieved in all three strategic pillars and the club’s commitment to financial sustainability remains steadfast. “The board and management remain focused ensuring that we maintain a long-term strategic horizon so that we can ensure that harness racing is brought back into the thriving industry it once was.” The club reported a net surplus before taxation of over $6.8m for the 2015/16 year and a small operating loss of $283,190 after depreciation and amortisation. The operating loss was better than forecast and reflected the board’s decision to reinvest more money back into racing. Auckland Trotting Club president Bruce Carter said performing better than budget in such difficult times for harness racing “shows what a great job our management team is doing led by our CEO Dominique Dowding.” He said the club’s financial performance over the past year is one the board considers as “very satisfactory”.   “Going forward this board is striving to make sure that the future of the Auckland Trotting Club is secured, which will establish greater stakes at ATC meetings and an upgrade to our facilities. By starting our (owners and trainers) incentives early, on 1 August, the board is predicting a loss for the coming (2016/17) year after depreciation of $450,331. This loss is anticipated until the 2017/18 season when additional income is derived from our developments,” said Mr Carter.   Alexandra Park’s overall trading operations improved for the fourth year running – up by $1.44m or 15% on last year, noting the club’s function centre hosted over 750 events with functions revenue up 5.8%. The food and beverage division achieved 7% revenue growth, with key race night dining events enjoying substantial growth. The club’s sponsorship revenue was up 9.5% on the previous year. Such key trading increases have been critical for Alexandra Park given that racing revenue was down again this year due to static industry funding and falling on and off-course betting. Good news for racing included the club’s ongoing investment in and popularity of the Franklin Park Training Centre, working effectively with Cambridge to improve the racing calendar and maximise the available horse pool, increasing stakes and incentives such as appearance fees, and the club’s commitment to exploring options to increase ownership through syndication. Ms Dowding reflected on the club’s biggest day in the 2015/16 year – when they learned that then president Kerry Hoggard had suddenly passed away in October last year. “President Bruce Carter and the board have stayed completely focused and united in seeing our vision through… I know Kerry would be proud,” she said. Also testament to the board and staff’s commitment was the club winning Best Of The Best for ‘Excellence in Strategy & Planning’ at the 2015 Westpac Business Awards. This year it is a double finalist in marketing and customer service.  At last night’s Annual General Meeting Bruce Carter was re-elected president of the Auckland Trotting Club, Rod Croon was re-elected vice president, and all other seven directors were returned.  At the meeting members also approved in principle entering stage three of the 223 Green Lane West urban village development and for the board to proceed with the necessary investigative work.  

The Auckland Trotting Club has been named a double finalist in the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2016 - Central. It is a finalist in both the ‘Excellence in Customer Service Delivery’ category and for ‘Excellence in Marketing’. Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding says the fact that the harness racing club is a double finalist in this year’s Westpac business awards is a huge credit to the club’s board, management team, and staff. “We’re rolling out a bold strategic business plan to build a stronger financial future for the club and Auckland harness racing. Both marketing and customer service are key to achieving that. Getting into the finals is a huge endorsement of the many steps we are now taking to deliver on our collective vision,” says Mrs Dowding. Sales & Marketing manager Joel Reichardt says Alexandra Park is a multi-faceted business that’s marketing planning and activity and customer service drive is varied and complex – making the double finalist news even more satisfying. “We don’t just have one business and one brand to promote. We’ve got to simultaneously market our harness racing activity, our significant conference and functions business, and more recently our high-end residential and retail urban village now under construction on Green Lane West. Our customer service also has to deliver across our very broad business and customer base,” says Mr Reichardt.  Ms Dowding says for a membership-based sporting organisation to receive this business acknowledgement in a largely corporate arena shows just how comprehensively and successfully the club is commercially transforming. “Given all the choices out there today when it comes to sport, entertainment, venues and residential living we need to keep highly competitive through exemplary marketing and first-class customer service. This latest nod reinforces we’re making some really solid gains that others are now formally recognising,” she says. Alexandra Park congratulates all of the category finalists and looks forward to the gala dinner on 10 November for the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2016 - Central. For a full list of the Westpac Business Award finalists link here. For further information contact Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or (09) 630-9700

Calls to toughen school enrolment zone rules by targeting the likes of families living in newly built apartments would be grossly unfair, says chief executive of Alexandra Park Dominique Dowding. Ms Dowding is overseeing the construction of a significant mixed-use urban village at the Auckland Trotting Club and inside the sought-after Double Grammar Zone. It has been touted as one of the biggest brownfield developments currently underway in the city and one of the best-selling. “I accept the nearby grammar schools are under huge enrolment pressure, but the suggestion to target families living in newly-built apartments is grossly unfair at best and discriminatory at worst. Families living in apartments are equally part of the community and hence should have equal access to everything everybody else has. “To single out families opting for apartment living and penalise them accordingly would send the wrong message just when the Government and Auckland Council are promoting the absolute need for greater residential intensification in Auckland.” Ms Dowding says while families make up about 20% Alexandra Park apartment buyers, most people buying cite the central location, quality nature of the master-planned development, the apartments’ freehold titles, and the easy access to key amenities as the main reasons for purchasing an apartment in the urban village development. “Empty nesters and professional couples are a big part of our market, but stage two is attracting more local families and younger people. However, the families we are attracting are motivated by a number of things well beyond school zoning.” She says the fact that the development sits in the Double Grammar Zone is sure an added bonus for most, but it has only been seen as a deciding factor by a few of Alexandra Park’s buyers – and that’s according to Colliers International buyer statistics. “The impression given is that families are rushing out to buy apartments in the likes of Epsom just to get their kids into a grammar school. But our experience is most families are turning to apartment living for lifestyle reasons, to get the space without the prohibitive extra land cost, plus good capital gain,” says Ms Dowding. In just over 12 months’ unconditional sales of Alexandra Park’s high-end apartments have totalled over $220m. Over 80% of apartments for both stages have been sold while just three large penthouses remain for sale. Beneath the apartments will be a gourmet grocer, cafes, restaurants and boutique retail. The first of the 750 residents are set to move into Alexandra Park from next year.

Colliers International’s latest market analysis of who’s buying apartments at the home of harness racing in Auckland,  Alexandra Park shows increasing numbers of local Auckland families and younger people now buying into Auckland’s most significant urban village development - currently under construction on Green Lane West. “In the past apartment living hasn’t really been associated with the leafy suburbs and Auckland families, but that’s all changing and our development and latest buyer statistics prove it,” says chief executive of Alexandra Park Dominique Dowding She says while baby-boomers and empty nesters dominated the buyer’ statistics for stage one of the development, 41% of buyers in stage two are younger than 45 years old. The overall owner-occupier numbers remain high, with only about a quarter of apartment buyers labelling themselves investors. Professional couples make up 34% of the stage two buyers, while young and mature families make up 26%. In just over 12 months unconditional sales of Alexandra Park’s high-end apartments have totalled over $220m in what is one of the biggest brownfield developments in Auckland. Over 80% of apartments for both stages have been sold and beneath the apartments will include a gourmet grocer, cafes, restaurants and boutique retail. Alexandra Park’s stage two will include two integrated buildings dubbed Sightline Green and High Street with 128 one-to-three-bedroom apartments. Australasian construction company Ganellen recently started construction on stage two. While Canam Construction Limited is building stage one which includes 118 apartments. “What these statistics show us is yes we are attracting empty-nesters but we’re also increasingly attracting local families and younger people all seeking a better lifestyle which suits their needs. They are drawn to the apartments’ freehold status, their central location, quality construction and design, the cleverly master-planned village environment and atmosphere, and having everything at their doorstep. “Empty nesters want a real sense of community in a safe and secure environment. They like the fact that the apartments will be low maintenance and can be easily locked up and left to visit family and travel. Whereas younger people and families are busy, so buying here enables them to maximise their time and of course the double grammar zone status is also a big draw card here in Epsom.” Ms Dowding says regardless of age and stage, the buyer statistics show most stage one buyers are already living within five kilometres of Alexandra Park. However, as word has spread about the Alexandra Park development many stage two buyers are currently living slightly further out. “Another aspect of the project is that young people are attracted to the environmental aspects and advantages on offer, including delivering a Smart Energy system and the installation of LED lights meaning energy bill savings. They love the fact that we’re going to extreme lengths when it comes to the urban design and open spaces and in fact are leading other developments in that regard. What’s more no other can boast having Cornwall Park across the road. “Rest assured younger buyers are not buying on a whim. They take their time and do their due diligence. While apartments may offer a more affordable entry point compared to many standalone properties, forecast capital gain is also something they closely assess,” she says. With Auckland apartments building consents well up and so many residential developments underway, Ms Dowding says competition is not hurting. Rather she says all the Auckland-wide apartment activity is only adding choice and fuelling interest.  Celebrated Vancouver urban design expert Joe Hruda is overseeing the transformation at Alexandra Park. While Auckland’s award-winning RTA Studio is the lead architect and N-Compass the project managers. The first residents are set to move in next year and in total about 750 people will live alongside the live trotting track in the one, two and three bedroom apartments which are priced from $675,000. The development also includes terraced houses with rooftop gardens. While just three large penthouses, with expansive Auckland views, remain for sale. The on-site apartment display suite is open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or visiting Link to watch the latest two-minute CGI video of Alexandra Park’s urban village.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown will turn the first sod tomorrow to officially mark the second stage of construction for Alexandra Park’s significant urban village development. The occasion will take place at Alexandra Park’s former car-park on Green Lane West at 4.30pm on Thursday, 28 April.  Attendees will include local dignitaries, leaders of Australasian construction company Ganellen, Auckland Trotting Club board members and staff, and representatives from Auckland Council, Campbell Brown Planning Limited, N-Compass, architects RTA Studio, and Colliers International. Ganellen will build the development’s second stage which will include two integrated buildings with 128 one-to-three-bedroom apartments and 2,500sqm of ground-floor retail space. Building B1 comprises of nine levels above ground, while Building B2 has five. The second stage will include 248 carparks within a shared two-level basement. Chief executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding says: “This is another great milestone for Alexandra Park and is one of the largest brownfield developments currently happening in the city. Having Ganellen construct stage two reinforces our complete focus on quality. We’re determined to be leaders.” Ganellen project leader Michael Doig says: “We’re delighted to lend our experience and expertise to this first-class urban village development. This is our first major new build project in Auckland and is completely in line with the type of large residential projects that we have built our reputation upon in Sydney.” Residents start moving into stage one from mid next year. Apartment sales for both stages have been strong, with the on-site apartment display suite open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or

In the coming months Alexandra Park will be unveiling some big hospitality names who are set to be a key part of Auckland’s newest urban village - now under construction and due to open from the middle of next year. Alexandra Park CEO Dominique Dowding says securing the best retail operators and the right hospitality mix remains is at the forefront of their lease negotiations for the 19 commercial sites that will sit below high-end freehold apartments. “Excitement is building and we’ll soon be in a position to announce the personalities and well respected hospitality entities that are committing to our world-class urban village vision,” she says. Late last year Alexandra Park and FreshChoice announced to truly a unique grocery concept to open in the Green Lane West development next year when the first residents start moving in. Describing it as “delicatessen, café, and fresh foods market fusion,” Ms Dowding says securing a quality grocer has helped spark interest from other prospective commercial tenants. “What is really appealing to food and beverage is the fact that we’re creating our own high street, with plenty of opportunity of alfresco dining in and around attractive promenades and public spaces. “Our commitment to world-class urban design, a quality ambience, and the certainty of a bustling and attractive environment has been critical to getting some of the best hospitality operators to the table. And I’m pleased to say good news is imminent.”  Ms Dowding says Alexandra Park is determined to create a new heart for Epsom. “We’ve had considerable interest and we’re now in the fortunate position of being able to work with the best operators and those who can offer consumers something different. “Alexandra Park is set to completely transform. We are committed to delivering an absolutely stunning food and beverage destination for café and restaurant lovers alike,” says Ms Dowding. Increasing speculation about which hospitality operators are coming to Alexandra Park is also sparking extra interest in apartment sales. The apartment display suite is open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or visiting Here is the latest two-minute CGI video of Alexandra Park’s urban village For further information contact Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or (09) 630-9700.

Tickets are selling fast for Alexandra Park’s Fashion At The Oaks on Friday 4 March. The inaugural event is a key part of The Winger Group’s 2016 Oaks & Derby Festival. Fashion At The Oaks ticket holders will be among the first to see the autumn collections of Adrienne Winkelmann, Hailwood, Sabatini, Tanya Carlson, Yvonne Bennetti, and Zambesi. “We’re thrilled with the high level of interest. People know it’s going to be a fantastic night admiring the latest collections from our fashion greats while also enjoying the best in New Zealand harness racing on our stunning track below,” says Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding. At $75 per person, the tickets include a two-course dinner, a complimentary glass of Mumm Champagne on arrival into the Tasman Room, a complimentary goody bag and much more. Hospitality packages for Oaks Night also include a fabulous Top Of The Park experience. The following Friday night, 11 March, is Derby Night. “We’ve got some great Tasman Room and Top of the Park packages for Derby Night too, but what’s really garnering strong interest is our new trackside Garden Entertainment Bar. That is going to be so much fun,” says Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager Joel Reichardt. “The Garden Bar package is great value and subsequently we’ll see some great numbers. We’re selling tables of four people for $120. That’s just $30 each and includes an antipasto platter and a bottle of bubbles on arrival, ongoing entertainment, and access to the after party with a DJ,” he says. On Derby Night the garden bar will have a live performance by Jupiter Project. At the same time PJ from ZM will be hosting ZM radio competition winners in the ZM VIP area. The garden bar is also set to be best viewing position for the Scenic Hotel Group Derby Night Fashion At The Races 2016 competition from 6pm. Categories for Alexandra Park’s 11 March fashion competition are ‘Best Dressed Lady At The Races 2016’, ‘Best Dressed Man At The Races 2016’, ‘Best Milliner At The Races 2016’ for the best hat or headpiece designed specifically to be worn for race day wear, and ‘Best Body Art At The Races’. Significant prize packages are up for grabs including Scenic Hotel holidays.  The garden bar will also provide that best vantage point to watch a graffiti artist fully paint a Suzuki Vitara thanks to Winger. For further information, including the hospitality packages and the premier racing, during The Winger Group’s 2016 Oaks & Derby Festival, visit For all bookings please contact Gabby Garton-Voice on (09) 631-1165 or email General admission for the public into Alexandra Park and parking remain free on both evenings.   Dominique Dowding

With Auckland house prices still high, apartment consents well up, and multiple residential developments across the city now underway, you’d think interest in Alexandra Park’s apartments would be cooling off, but far from it, says chief executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding. Her comments follow Statistics New Zealand’s recent release of building consent figures which show 1,919 apartments were consented in Auckland during 2015 - up a staggering 68% on the previous year.  “I am amazed at the number of people still coming through our display apartment on a daily basis. The fact that there are many developments currently selling across Auckland is actually adding choice and fuelling interest. With some good critical mass out there now, prospective buyers are literally making a day of it visiting showrooms which is helping us,” she says. Low interest rates are also helping the apartment market as is their comparative affordability. “Many developments are seeing first home buyers making the most of low interest rates. However we’re seeing the likes of empty-nesters selling their old family home nearby and opting for a high quality apartment with all the amenities and which they can easily lock-up and leave.” In fact Alexandra Park’s latest sales demographics show 58% of its stage one buyers live within 5kms of Alexandra Park and 76% live with 10kms. At the same time 83% will be owner/occupiers and just 17% investors. 79% will be 45 years of age or older. “Long gone are the days when apartments were associated with young overseas students renting in the CBD. We’re selling mostly to discerning locals who are well established and just want to stay in the area.” She believes quality is setting Alexandra Park apart in what is now a very busy and increasingly crowded apartment market. “Our apartments are freehold and we’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to create not only beautifully-designed interiors, but also ensure they are landmark buildings in an environment that showcases the best in urban design. And it’s working! Today people want great construction and a strong sense of community and we’re able to deliver both with our urban village,” says Ms Dowding. From mid-2017 the first of 750 residents will move into the one, two and three bedroom apartments which range in size from 67sqm to 216sqm and are priced between $585,000 and $2 million. Just three penthouses remain for sale. Leases are currently being negotiated on the 19 ground-floor commercial spaces, with a unique FreshChoice grocer concept already confirmed. The on-site apartment display suite is open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or visiting Link to watch the latest two-minute CGI video of Alexandra Park’s urban village: Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or (09) 630-9700

Alexandra Park (Auckland's home of harness racing) has already exceeded $120 million in unconditional sales of high-end apartments in its ambitious urban village project set to open from mid next year. What’s more since opening on-site last year, the stunning showroom and life-sized display apartment has welcomed thousands of people through. “It has been a crazy nine months and the interest has certainly exceeded our expectations. Most of the apartments in stage one are sold. Stage two of the development, which includes Sightline Green and High Street, is now also selling really well,” says chief executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding. Topping off a successful 2015, and its 125th anniversary year, saw Auckland Trotting Club win a key Westpac business award late last year. Unusual for a membership-based organisation, the club won the ‘Excellence in Strategy & Planning’ category at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2015 – Central. The award reflected the Auckland Trotting Club’s huge success in securing a stronger and more sustainable financial future which includes the urban village redevelopment on part of its former Green Lane West car-park, and the construction of The Blues new rugby base set to open soon. Long-time Auckland owned and operated firm Canam Construction is charged with building both projects, with significant earthworks underway in recent months for the apartment buildings and construction imminent. Below the designer-apartments will include boutique retail, cafes and restaurants with the club progressing well with its prime ground floor leases. A new grocery concept for Auckland described by Ms Dowding as “a fusion of a delicatessen, café, and a fresh foods market” was recently confirmed. Wholesale Distributors Ltd announced that a unique FreshChoice supermarket will be open in Alexandra Park from mid-2017 – set to deliver world-class products as well as exemplary service.  “We’ve put a huge emphasis on quality from day one. This is not just any old apartment development. This is going to be a whole new urban village and community for Auckland. It will give Epsom a much needed heart and in fact its very own High Street no less!” As well as insisting on first-class retailers and hospitality operators, Alexandra Park has appointed Auckland’s award-winning architectural firm RTA Studio which is working in conjunction with Sydney-based architects Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke. It has also engaged Canadian expert Joe Hruda of Civitas Urban Design & Planning to deliver a world-class overall environment for the urban village which will include attractive promenades and public spaces and the promotion of alfresco dining. “By delivering a high-end product our buyer statistics show we’re largely attracting the likes of baby-boomers and cashed-up empty nesters who want to stay in the central suburbs of Auckland in a liveable, attractive, self-sustaining and safe community.” Ms Dowding says the apartments ‘freehold title’ status is adding to their appeal, as are low interest rates. “The fact that they’re elegant, spacious, beautifully designed, well-constructed, as well as in the double grammar school zone makes them a very good investment. Although almost all of our buyers so far will be owner-occupiers.” She says only three penthouses remain for sale. Alexandra Park is looking forward to another successful year which will see its urban village rise out of the ground. 2016 will also see other exciting ground-floor lease announcements with a total of over 5,500sqm of ground-floor space split beneath three apartment building set to be activated from mid-2017 when the first Alexandra Park residents start moving in. “Over the coming months and next couple of years Aucklanders will witness one of the biggest urban redevelopment and brownfields transformations in the city. “How Aucklanders view Alexandra Park will change completely. No longer will it be just the place for Friday Night Trots or a conference. Instead Alexandra Park will truly be a destination for Auckland shoppers and restaurant and café lovers alike. We can’t wait,” says Ms Dowding. Alexandra Park’s on-site display apartment is open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling the Colliers team on 0800-275-484 or visiting Watch the latest two-minute CGI video of Alexandra Park’s urban village. Cameron Brewer  

Players of Super 15 rugby franchise The Blues will be at Alexandra Park this coming Friday evening - 22 January - to meet fans, sign autographs, pose for selfies, and even be around your dinner table! Their appearance is the first celebration to mark the imminent move of their training facilities to Alexandra Park – which will include a high performance training and administration centre near Campbell Crescent and the development of a practice field in the middle of the track. Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding is delighted that Auckland’s home to harness racing is also set to be the long-term training base for the popular Blues rugby team. “Having The Blues’ training base at Alexandra Park is another really exciting development for the Auckland Trotting Club. Their move will only help to sustain and grow harness racing in this wonderful and unique central Auckland location. What’s more rugby and racing has always been a pretty good mix and this new sporting relationship comes with plenty of win-wins,” says Ms Dowding. At this coming Friday Night Trots, from 5.30pm to 6.15pm Blues players will be trackside available for autographs, selfies, and they’ll even be giving away some Blues merchandise. There is no entry charge into Alexandra Park and car-parking is also free, so it’s being promoted as a great free experience for families this school holidays. For more details go to Ms Dowding says an alternative to hanging out with The Blues trackside, is the opportunity for people to book and enjoy a delicious all-you-can eat buffet with a couple of Blues players sharing your table. She says at $60 per person, the evening dining experience is very reasonable given the unique close-up opportunity it provides fans to chat about rugby while enjoying some exciting racing action with a plentiful buffet on hand. During the dinner MC Kieron McAnulty will be giving away some amazing spot prizes including tickets to this season’s games, Blues' jerseys, and an Alexandra Park ‘Top of the Park’ voucher for four people, plus lots more. The MC will also host a fun Q & A session with some of the Blues to tell fans what they have in store for the new season. For more information on the evening with The Blues or for dinner bookings contact Taryn Sumner at Alexandra Park on (09) 631-1176 or “We’re so excited about The Blues making Alexandra Park their training base. Friday will be the perfect way to not only kick off this new sporting relationship and celebrate the start of The Blues’ season, but also to just enjoy a fun night of rugby and racing,” says Ms Dowding. Cameron Brewer

Members of the Auckland Trotting Club formally received and signed off their 2015 Annual Report at the harness racing organisation’s Annual General Meeting last night. A watershed and positive time for the club is how the past financial year has been described by chief executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding. Reviewing the year, Ms Dowding highlighted overall growth within the business, members’ approval of the Auckland Trotting Club’s amalgamation with Franklin Trotting Club, and the club’s investment in two developments now under construction - The Blues new base and the urban village redevelopment at 223 Green Lane West. With the harness racing industry struggling, amalgamating with the Franklin Trotting Club was all about offering the industry an affordable training centre to help attract and retain trainers which was paying early dividends, reported Ms Dowding. “We have seen an increase in numbers at Franklin Park Training Centre from 160 horses in training to 235 in training and this bodes well to bolstering the numbers that race at Alexandra Park,” she says. With industry funding static and on-course and off-course betting declining, Ms Dowding stressed that the critical importance of lifting and developing the club’s other revenue opportunities – the crux of club’s entire long-term business plan. The club reported a net profit for the year of over $17m helped by a substantial increase in the revaluation of its investment property portfolio. The club’s operating profit was reported at $89,614 - significantly better than the budgeted loss of $748,680. Its overall trading operations improved for the third year running – up 17% on last year’s performance, noting the club’s function centre hosted 873 events up 12% on last year’s 780 events. Revenue from property rentals was up 15%. Both 223 Green Lane West and The Blues training centre were both reported as “on track and under budget”. Funding arrangements, apartment sales and commercial leases were so far meeting or exceeding expectations for the urban village development, with the project described as being in “great shape”. On The Blues, the Super 15 rugby franchise is expected to occupy their new base at Campbell Crescent by the end of this year. The Annual Report reviewed and reconfirmed the club’s three strategic priority pillars: Revitalise and Reposition Harness Racing; Grow the Business; Grow the Value and the Returns within the Property Portfolio. The report noted many strategic objectives were met or exceeded. The racing report highlighted that stakes continued to increase in the 2014/15 season for the Auckland Trotting Club on the previous financial year to ensure a better return for owners. From 2015/16 all meetings will be run as ATC meetings - outside Premier Meetings. Such a move will ensure better balance of both metropolitan and country type races, better utilisation of the available horse pool, and will help maximise returns for both owners and trainers. Formally announced last night was that the trotting club’s Auckland Cup will be moved from March and return to its traditional date of 31 December, with a March Carnival of races continuing.  Overshadowing the AGM was this month’s untimely death of Auckland Trotting Club president Kerry Hoggard with much tribute paid to his exemplary leadership of the club and within the New Zealand harness racing industry. “Kerry commercially challenged, debated and tested everything we put to him and our board this year thus adding tremendous value to the club and its future. Kerry will be missed tremendously but we are forever grateful for him helping drive the club’s strategic objectives which I’ve been charged to deliver. “We can all take much from the fact that the our business-focused board of directors remain absolutely committed to delivering our collective vision of building a strong and financially sustainable future for Alexandra Park – in this our 125thanniversary year of racing in Auckland,” said Dominique Dowding after the meeting. The new president of the Auckland Trotting Club is former vice president Bruce Carter. Dominique Dowding

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