Not shy of making a comment or two, Ian Cassels is a true innovator in every sense of the word. An intensely deep thinker, it’s no surprise that he’s a maths and philosophy graduate - analytical talent enabling him to find a way to thrive in the commercial property world after the 1980’s stock market crash.
30+ years and a long track record later, Ian has seen every twist and turn of the property cycle in both residential and commercial settings. Over the last decade, The Wellington Company has expanded its development geography to include developments throughout New Zealand and now delivers a broad range of residential, commercial, industrial and land development projects.
The Wellington Company's reputation as a developer of choice has seen it form partnership projects with Iwi, the Crown and Local Councils - testament to the trust in its ability to deliver. It has a significant existing portfolio and development pipeline, with energy directed towards making a real difference in the communities that New Zealander’s live and work in.
Ian is renowned for his intuitive market forecasting and work ethic - in a previous lifetime he and late brother Alasdair had a business sandblasting and spray painting ‘anything big and tricky’. His intuition is why TWC has a reputation for delivering what others said couldn’t be done. For seeing what others can’t. For investing where others wouldn’t. For questioning & continually evolving.
Ian's tenacity for something he believes in is the stuff of legend: The Erskine development in Wellington’s Island Bay took nearly 22 years to develop through multiple hurdles, but the result is a triumph to heritage restoration, beautiful design (independently awarded by NZIA), and quality community living for 96 households. Included in the development is Erskine Chapel: a building of exceptional architectural, historical and social significance. Erskine Chapel is listed as a Heritage New Zealand Category 1 Historic Place and recognised in the Wellington City Council Heritage List. Its preservation, restoration and strengthening required $7M+. The project received a $250,000 upgrade works grant from the Ministry of Culture & Heritage, $75,000 from Heritage New Zealand, and $10,000 from Wellington City Council for seismic strengthening, but the rest was funded by Ian. The chapel’s reopening in October 2023 was a milestone moment for the company: now providing a glorious event space for hire and community hosting.
When asked about what he considers to be The Wellington Company’s greatest hits, it’s visibly difficult for him to choose: