When Upper Hutt entrepreneur and visionary Malcolm Gillies started a welding apprenticeship at Upper Hutt’s once Dunlop Tyre factory in 1979, he never imagined a future which would involve “all things property”.
After leaving welding to sell insurance, he bought an underperforming real estate company in Upper Hutt with one agent and 1% market share. His success in real estate, and Malcolm’s passion for property and property development, led him to establish Gillies Group in 2005.
The Upper Hutt-based company buys and sells property (Professionals, Gillies and Mark Realty), develops land (UH Developments), builds new homes (Golden Homes), and owns or manages commercial property (e.g. South Pacific Industrial Park and CBD Towers).
Gillies Group has developed a number of large scale sub-divisions in Upper Hutt including Waitoka Estate, Emerald Hill, Marua Palms, Riverstone Terraces and Mount Marua – totalling ten percent of Upper Hutt’s new residential housing. Its future local development, Wallaceville, will increase that to 15 percent. Gillies Group is also involved in projects across the greater Wellington region.
Born and bred in Upper Hutt, Malcolm has always been a strong advocate for the region and is prepared to think outside the box to make things happens locally, for everyone’s benefit.
He says “There will always be people who say that new ideas aren’t possible or that the status quo is fine but I’m more optimistic than that”.
“We bought Upper Hutt’s iconic tyre factory as a vacant site after it closed in 2006 and converted it into South Pacific Business Park which covers 36,000sqm. It’s now leased to 35 businesses involved in manufacturing, contracting services, construction, warehousing, storage and office services. It’s a thriving business hub of 230+ people. It shows that Upper Hutt and its people have the ability to deal with what is dealt to them”.
Malcolm believes that the company’s and region’s success requires “an understanding of what the market wants and making the most of opportunities on our doorstep”.
Gillies Group has recently worked with like-minded partners who contribute their experience, different skill sets and expertise under Joint Venture arrangements. Malcolm says “Working collaboratively across the region creates opportunities to spread the message about Upper Hutt’s benefits to a wider range of influencers”.
“Upper Hutt’s huge area of available land is one of our city’s major assets” Malcolm explains. “We have a supportive council which is starting to make the most of what we’ve got. Upper Hutt is a place that people want to work and play in, raise their families in – so we need to deliver what they need every day. Beautiful parks, quality housing in and around the city, unique events, lifestyle blocks, good bus and train systems, and a few boutique places to eat and drink”.
Malcolm admits that being involved in property hasn’t always been plain sailing. “Upper Hutt has a strong business community which has helped us along the way. We are really grateful to them. We wouldn’t be here without our clients, suppliers and contractors who continue to believe in us – for their benefit and Upper Hutt’s long term prosperity. Every step of the way has got to be a win:win”.
Visit the Gillies Group website: www.gilliesgroup.co.nz