Meet the team: Mark Hitchcock, Development Manager31 January 2024 / 3 min read
Mark Hitchcock joined the Oyster team in 2018 as our in-house Development Manager, bringing 13 years’ local and international experience in commercial property development and asset management to the role.
From master, asset and construction planning, to financing, leasing, project and property management, the position taps into every aspect of Mark’s extensive property career.
His previous experience includes roles at Auckland Transport as Principal Property Specialist, where he established a portfolio-wide retail strategy and implementation programme, and Transport for London as Principal Commercial Development Manager, where he led strategic development programmes.
Delivering new and value-add development projects across the Oyster portfolio
As Oyster’s Development Manager, Mark plays a crucial role in identifying and unlocking opportunities to drive value for investors and tenants. This extends to both the current Oyster portfolio and beyond, leading new developments to expand its current scope.
“It’s about getting the best use out of our current and future assets by creating smart spaces for modern use,” he says.
“This means I need to be connected to the entire property ecosystem, from master planning and asset acquisition to funding strategies and project delivery.
“I also spend a lot of time on the ground with our current and future tenants to ensure I have a deep understanding of their needs.
“Oyster’s model of integrated development management provides a unique value-generation opportunity for our capital partners, investors and tenants – I’m really proud to be a part of this.
“We don’t just hand over the keys when a development is complete – we commit to enduring, long-term relationships with our tenants, from the design and build phase through to active property and facilities management.
Mark is passionate about people-centric placemaking and transforming previously underutilised spaces to add value to assets. He says this approach is core to the success of recent Oyster development projects.
“User experience as a key strategic outcome for what we deliver is what ultimately drives commercial value. If you create functional, modern spaces that people can enjoy, the leases will come.”
Among the multitude of successful value-add projects in Oyster’s portfolio that show this strategy in action is The Green, at Central Park in Ellerslie, Auckland.
“We transformed an underutilised car park into an award-winning food and beverage precinct, catering to 3,000 onsite workers and visitors. It has become a key attraction factor for tenants and integral to leasing success, with Central Park now more than 95% occupied,” he says.
The people-centric reputation of the Central Park development also played a key role in Oyster delivering a new 3,393sqm purpose-built office building for KiwiRail, set for occupation from March 2024.
Mark says this project has been a true partnership from the start.
“We have been working in close collaboration with KiwiRail every step of the way to deliver an integrated design and build that will meet the needs of the facility and those who work there for years to come.
Once the project is complete, Oyster will continue the relationship in a hands-on property management capacity alongside the KiwiRail team.
“Projects like these demonstrate the full value of Oyster’s integrated development model and people-first focus. I’m excited for the potential this model creates for our investors, capital partners and tenants in the future.”