Businesses, residents, and community members are breathing a sigh of relief with Grant Robertson announcing this month that the four-lane, 24km Otaki to North of Levin Expressway will be going ahead.
Its been a frustrating couple of years for the local Horowhenua community, with many land owners and businesses unable to plan for the future.
Uncertainty about the proposed road followed Transport Minister Michael Wood's comments last month that the Labour Government might not be able to deliver all the elements of its $12 billion infrastructure programme. Minister Roberston's announcement was welcome news, although the cost of the road has now increased from the original estimated cost of $817 million to $1.5 billion.
"People and freight will now be able to move safely and easily between Horowhenua and Wellington and around the lower North Island", Robertson said.
Local Commercial and Industrial specialist, Owen Kirk, of Property Brokers Levin, said, "I've never seen such a frenzy as people vie for prime pieces of Commercial and Industrial land, obviously seeing the benefits of locating their businesses in the Horowhenua".
"Why would a business want their trucks and freight travelling through the middle of Wellington City to get to their depot in Seaview or the Eastern suburbs when they could have their logistical and transport base 40 mins to the north where there is no traffic and excellent accessibility in comparison," Kirk continued. "Land prices for Industrial land are breaking sales records week upon week," Kirk said. "M2 rates are increasing rapidly as local, national and international businesses and developers are trying to grab a piece of the Industrial pie".
With the recently developed Horowhenua Business Park all but sold out and the 400 hectares, 2500 Taraika housing development underway, the future of Levin and the Horowhenua region, in general, is looking bright.
Resource consent for the new expressway will be applied for in 2022.
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