KiwiRail locks in 20-year lease at new Blue Mountains Campus

KiwiRail has confirmed a 20-year lease at Blue Mountains Campus, the Wellington region’s new resilient, green business hub in the Hutt Valley.

The five hectare park-style campus offers up to 36,000 square metres of commercial and retail space across a mix of strengthened existing buildings, and modern new Green Star-rated commercial buildings designed to complement the Wellington CBD. It is located on Ward Street, Upper Hutt and will be developed by Willis Bond.

KiwiRail has secured a lease for 2,700 square metres in Stage 1 of the development which will include a state-of-the-art new train control room.

Willis Bond Project Director David McGuinness is delighted to welcome KiwiRail to the campus.

“KiwiRail is a blue-chip tenant that sets the tone for the development. With a 120-strong train control team taking space in both the refurbished and strengthened Buddle Building and choosing to build a brand new train control room here, they are a perfect example of what the campus can deliver for organisations – resilient, flexible, green ready-to-lease space and bespoke design-and-build solutions.

“Blue Mountains Campus is unique within the Wellington region. We can design and build bespoke facilities for any number of uses, including offices, data centres, laboratories and more industrial uses such as food production and brewing operations.

“We’re keen to talk to private and public organisations looking for flexible and resilient new premises in the region, as well as amenity providers that see an opportunity to support these businesses and the wider local community,” says McGuinness.

McGuinness explains that the campus is a response to regional resilience considerations raised after the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

“We saw an opportunity to provide the Wellington region with a resilient, complementary business hub to further strengthen the city’s appeal with national businesses and government,” continues McGuinness.

“Only 30 minutes from the CBD, the campus can function as an everyday primary or secondary business location as well as a disaster-recovery site, giving businesses the ability to strengthen their regional profile and keep functioning during challenging situations.”

Hazard profile research shows the site is one of the most resilient commercial locations in the region with low risks from natural hazards, robust water, power and data provision and a variety of roading and public transport access options. The campus can also facilitate additional resilience requirements including solar power, rain water harvesting and back-up generators.

“It also offers an established green park-like setting – which is very rare for commercial developments – and provides the space and flexibility to deliver both superb refurbished accommodation and large, resilient new buildings to suit a wide range of businesses. We also intend to lead the market in terms of new green buildings with a real push towards timber.”

The campus will be delivered in four stages with preliminary works for the 5,500 square metre first stage already underway. Stage 1 will strengthen and refurbish the existing 4,200 square metre Buddle Building and deliver KiwiRail’s bespoke 1,300 square metre train control room, with the whole stage ready to occupy by December 2022. 

Stage Deliverables Size Timing
Stage 1
Refurbished, strengthened existing building and bespoke train control room for KiwiRail
Ready to occupy Q4 2022
Stage 2
Refurbished, strengthened heritage buildings
Ready to occupy Q3 2023
Stage 3
Resilient, low-rise new buildings
Ready to occupy from 2023
Stage 4
Resilient, low-rise new buildings
Up to 20,000m2
Will follow after Stage 3

Stage 2 will develop the two heritage buildings on site, ready for occupation in early 2023 and stages 3 and 4 will deliver modern, low-rise timber-framed buildings later in 2023. Another 20,000 square metres of accommodation can be built in later stages.

The campus also promises to deliver a strong amenity offering for tenants with a cafe and co-working facility included in Stage 1. Further amenity, which is likely to include other food and wellbeing services, will be included as part of Stage 2. For more information visit

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