Late last year we saw designs for a development over the Newmarket rail junction making use of an otherwise empty space (other than the trains) and also providing a second a crucial northern connection to the Newmarket station. It contained a mix of retail, residential and commercial space based around a pedestrian lane and public space. In my mind the proposal wasn’t perfect, especially with how the connection to the train station was relegated to a back alleyway and many didn’t like the architecture but it did seem to be a decent example of the type of development we should be aiming for.

The old plan
The old plan

However disappointingly the developers now appear to have thrown that plan out and are going to market with a new one that in my mind is considerably worse. The plan now seems to have morphed into one that is almost exclusively about apartments set in a gated community. Here is the marketing spiel.

With excellent access and an exciting offering of retail and residential accommodation, 88 Broadway will attract visitors from a wide catchment across the Auckland region.

Benefiting from excellent public transport links providing connections to the city centre, West Auckland and South Auckland, 88 is uniquely placed adjacent to the Newmarket train station and link bus network. Both run regular services to the CBD, Mt Eden and further south.

88 Broadway is centered around public transport, with a pedestrian connection to the northern concourse of the train station and bus stops at the Broadway entrance. Making access simple and easy for getting to work or university and for all visitors to 88 Broadway is something we have considered very carefully here.

Served by good motorway access with nearby connections to the Northern, Southern and Western motorways, 88 is also on the bus route to the airport. There is plenty of parking incorporated into the 88 Broadway development and additional parking facilities are available in the neighbouring buildings for visitors travelling by car.

Sleek and new from the ground up, 88 Broadway is reflective of a different attitude toward design and architecture which reflects a new way of life.

Cool and modern. Open and exciting. At 88, the architecture shines. White, wood and glass. Light and air. The exhilaration of a new urban lifestyle. Perfect as a quiet place to retreat with friends, or in private.

Internal Zen Courtyard
Three buildings
Harbour views
A unique sense of community
Minutes from the CBD by electric train

As you would expect with marketing material, it generally sounds pretty good, especially as they are including about how easy it is to access the city by train. As usual though the devil is in the detail – but first here are some images of the proposed development from the street and from the inside looking out.

88 Broadway - Street View

88 Broadway - Internal View

As you can see in the image below, the private courtyard and the town houses in the image above is situated on top of what appears quite a large car park, one that takes up a huge amount of the site. There is some retail – but not a huge amount – however my main concern is just how the development hooks in to the train station. It kind of get the feeling that once again access is confined to a narrow alleyway somewhere around where the word rangitoto is -although hopefully I’m wrong. Not only that but the entrance appears quite narrow and as such not suited to the huge volumes of people that could potentially be using it to access northern parts of Newmarket.

88 Broadway - Plan

Auckland Transport apparently have to build the new connection to the station however it is unsure when they might do this or what it will look like.

One thing I definitely won’t criticise the development on is the apartments. There is a huge range from single bedroom apartments up to four bedroom apartments and townhouses with over 150m² of floor space. It’s good to see a greater variety of dwellings of offer. As you would except in this location, the prices aren’t going to be cheap. I did see a price list before they updated their site and from memory even the single bedroom apartments were over $400,000 with the four bedroom apartments and townhouses at around $1.4 million.

For the time being there is of course the small matter of the railway junction that will be under the site. The developer has told me that they are expecting to start the piling for it within a month or so, presumably both they and Kiwirail will be hoping that to get as much of it done possible over the summer shutdown.

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  1. ‘There is plenty of parking incorporated into the 88 Broadway development and additional parking facilities are available in the neighbouring buildings for visitors travelling by car.’ Says it all, really. Despite the PT-wash this is just another car-focussed development in an area already replete with multi-storey car parks. I’m sure it meets with the approval of the former self-appointed mayor of Newmarket/deputy mayor manqué of Auckland; just his sort of thing.

  2. Why the hell are they building carpaks? If a single bed is going for over 400k you are probably looking at about 75-100k per park in wasted space, this would have to be, of all tha apartments under construction the one in which residents will want/need a carpark the least.

        1. Did you count all the car parks? Do you know whether there’s a single car park level or more? Are there more than two levels of apartments – some of the other drawings seem to show three? Are they all the same on each level, or do some levels have more or less apartments? How many retail stores are there, etc…

          In short, I doubt you can just tell from the one plan there. Which is why I was asking whether there’s a bit more data on units and car parks.

          1. Stanius if you go to the project link and download the brochure the floor plans above are readable- and the carparking level has the number of each apartment on them. It would appear all apartments get at least one. It also appears that there is only a single floor of carparking.

          2. 208 carparks including 36 dependent spaces that would only be appropriate to sell together with the space in front.

            @conan the bigger apartments have multiple spaces, many/most of the small one don’t have any spaces. The 4 bed townhouses have 3x spaces for example. I can’t spot any carparks linked to 53m^2, 56m^2 or 78m^2 apartments (except a404 which has 4 spaces – I assume this is an error)

  3. I’m not overly familiar with the development, but I believe the carparks are there because you’ve got to build up at least a couple of levels before you get to Broadway level, and there’s not much else you can do with that space.
    The alternative is to have the buildings/ plaza etc at a much lower level, as per the earlier plans for the development… but it did create quite a barrier between it and the rest of Newmarket, and it’s easy to imagine that the plaza wouldn’t have been very active.

    1. No John you can’t fill up the site to ground level with this development otherwise you would stop trains running. The site is over the top of the railway junction. The carparks are at ground level and then build over the top of. Basically underneath that grassed area in the photos above leaving that retail facing a blank wall.

      1. Yeah, sorry, I thought perhaps there might be enough space above Kiwirail’s airspace to still be able to put parking in below Broadway level, and that some areas around the tracks might be able to have parks in line with that airspace…

        1. If you look at the plans you can see all the caparking is at the same levels as the shops which front onto Broadway i.e. street level. The walkway to the station runs alongside this it would see, with the blank walls of the neighbouring building and the carparking void being its sides.

  4. Looking at those plans it appears the internal walkway has a big blank wall on one side faced by most likely cheap shops on the right, and this then weaves and winds its way into the interior of the building past some apartments and then presumably somehow onto a bridge to the station. I am quite confident that this will outdo even station square in terms of being an unpleasant and confusing route to the station. Sure AT could have required that the station entrance was the focus of this connection, it is afterall being built on top of the rail network?!?

    1. Yeah, that walkway is horrible. Do they think that with the twists and turns, people are going to accidentially get snagged and pulled into one of the shops, to improve business there? Hope that can still passage be simplified, it is so “busy”, and not in a good sense.

      Some of the worst passages between Queen Street and Lorne Street are like that. It may work in a really over-crowded city, where every little retail space is in demand, but here, we still have tons of choice, so tenants will stay away from these if they have sense or money…

    2. I can’t actually work out where the walkway is (bearing in mind that the bottom of the sketch is Broadway, ie the western boundary). So the walkway either heads to the right from the last “o” of rangitoto, or possibly it’s on the other side of the tracks, ie from the “n” of hobson. If it’s the latter, the Broadway Park residents might not be impressed; if the former it abuts the existing carpark, but in either case will be above the tracks (unless it goes through the existing carpark building).

      As for cost, this highlights a point I’ve made previously, that apartments seem to cost a lot more than other forms of construction – I recall that a 90sqm apartment is around $850k (presumably carparks are included at that price, so perhaps 120sqm in total).

      1. Hi Jonno, yes apartments are certainly more expensive to build on a per square metre basis, as is anything multi-storey. They don’t cost as much as that example though. I’ll be posting about this in the future, but a (basement) carpark would probably cost up to $50K to build per space, and apartments can be developed and sold profitably for as little as $6K per square metre, depending on land costs. These figures include GST.
        High end apartments, with excellent locations or good quality fittings, can cost quite a bit more.

      2. Only possible place is that walkway into through the middle and then down the tiny passageway with Rangitoto written on it, all floors above this are inaccessible to the general public. Station Square is going to feel like an urban design marvel in comparison. At least there’s a direct line of sight from the road through its access way, this one doesn’t even have that with dozens of little bends and twists, I can’t see people willingly using this at night – that’s assuming it’s even open. I would guess that since it runs right next to those apartments the BC will require it gets shut at 10pm each night.

      3. Thanks John P. I remember now where I saw the pricing: it was on Trade Me (my wife kindly saved it to my watchlist!) and is $870k for a 90sqm 3 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment + 8sqm deck. http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=635490056. The advt claims 3 bathrooms but there are only 2, also no mention of carparks being included (maybe sold separately). So that comes to almost $9k/sqm. By comparison, my townhouse works out at around $4.25k/sqm (including land value but also including garaging that would reduce the average cost a bit).

        bbc – yes I see that it must be on that level, but I still can’t see how it gets to the station proper, unless a duplicate concourse is to be built at the north end and the platforms extended. Apologies if I’m missing something obvious!

        1. It’s always made me wonder – if replacement costs are so high, why can ‘old’ apartments be bought so (relatively) cheaply? Or has that changed in the last 18 months also?

        2. Car-parks appear to be attached to certain apartments/townhouses. see page 15 of here: http://eqgroup.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/88BroadwayBrochureEMAIL.pdf

          The Listing appears to be for “unit 5” apartments such as b201, b209, b409. These appear to be coupled with two carparks. Most of the smaller units appear not to be coupled with a car-park (as you would expect at such a transport friendly location).

          I think it would make marketing easier if the car parks were decoupled from the units. These carparks are probable worth around $40k – $60k each.

          1. Thanks for the link Scott, so my earlier calculation wasn’t far out. I agree that the carparks represent about $100k of the price, but I for one wouldn’t buy one without parking, irrespective of public transport. No problem with decoupling them, as then I could buy three parks. There doesn’t appear to be any storage though, or visitor parking (but plenty of nearby parking of course). So maybe I’ll buy one after all and release some cash. Coincidentally, my starter house was 90sqm + 2-car garage…

          2. A handful of the units have 3 parks, they probably cost a bit more than the “unit 5” apartment though.

            I’m surprised that more apartments don’t incorporate basement storage units. A place to keep chilly bins, surf boards, camping gear etc.

            Does the complex have bike lockers. The marketing pushes bike accessibility, and its nicer not to keep your bike in your lounge.

            If I was in the market for a $700k+ apartment I wouldn’t buy one without parking available either regardless of the walk/cycle/PT accessibility. If I was at the mid to high end of the market I would be after multiple transport options, and want to have a car even if I primarily used other transport means.To me the freedom to chose from PT, Walk, Bike, Private car, or taxi is a luxury I would demand from an apartment at that price point.

          3. Now i’m confused. The info in the trade me listings (search 88 broadway) conflicts with that in the plans (in relation to parking). perhaps they are decoupling after all.

          4. OK, I’ve searched a bit more and come up with this: http://tinyurl.com/mndczhr which covers many of the units. I’m not overly impressed with the layouts, sizes and costs, eg the $1.7m 3-level townhouse is only 160sqm + decks, has a tiny lounge, no internal lift, a powder room with no hand-basin, and only two associated carparks.

  5. What I don’t get is they have the walkway with a blank wall on one side and four retail units end-on along the other. Why not have the same four units, but split them to two each side and have them side on. Same area, same number of units but you double the shopfronts and avoid the blank wall.

  6. Riding the bus or train is just a kind of folly for these self-sheltering apartment-dwellers, they just can’t be stuffed walking for five minutes to a train depot, but somehow they think a 10 minute walk each way between say, Queen St, and the Civic parking is of no comparative significance. Also, in my experience, I find these sort of people are still thinking of the bad ol’ 90’s, when we wondered if we’d soon still have trains, and riding them was deemed the domain of ‘peasants’, school kids and the like. Most of these people are well traveled, having been in London, or wherever on O.E.s, so in theory will be more tempted by the pending “turn up and ride” system.

    1. Okay, that comment is just weird. The people living in these apartments are prime “customers” for walking and PT. Certainly, they do more of it than an average Auckland “free-standing house” tenant, so I don’t get the negativity on this matter?

      1. Hmm, if you talk about the wealthy folks living in the apartments on the other side of the tracks maybe not. Like the Remuera set living around James Cook Cres, they live in apartments for the security and the view, not because they can catch the train into town. Or at least that’s the impression I get seeing them pouring out in their audis but never on foot. I used to walk through there daily, the most you’d see is the odd trophy wife in yoga gear walking the bichon frise.

        The question is will they see more of these, or more of you’re regular apartment dweller.

        1. That’s a bit harsh Nick; I suspect most of those “wealthy folks” began with starter homes in the suburbs, just as I did and others of my generation, and have worked their butts off for whatever they have now. Maybe in 30 years time you’ll be in the same situation (granted, I’m guessing your age group as 30-ish, and I may be hopelessly wrong about that). BTW, what’s a “regular apartment dweller”?

        2. Totally correct. Nick. I live in the area; Laxon Terrace to be precise. EVERYONE IN THE BROADWAY PARK AREA DRIVES. Pedestrian traffic is negligible. All this butt-ugly 88 ‘development’ will do is worsen the already appalling traffic in the area.

  7. I count around 165 apartments, with just north to 200 car parks in total,

    I would doubt they will be piling next month ( developers always say things like that) and I would be interested to know if they actually have building consents for the site yet, and what percentage of these units they have already sold?..

    1. There is however a ghost cyclist riding from one side of a small tiled courtyard to the other. Not sure why you would carry your bike up the stairs, across the grass then hop on to ride ten metres…

      1. He will soon crash into the group of three pedestrians stridently striding out of a dead-end corner.

        Okay, it’s so easy to make fun of this. It’s sadly, also apparently very hard to really activate a space like this, whether gated or not. Most (of either type) I have seen are disasters. Same in my old apartment building – it was a very nice, well-designed building for most part, and I loved living in it. But the common grass and BBQ area were hopeless hopes, and nobody EVER used them.

  8. Will they do another awesome job like that other monster that got made next to the rail line thats looks like some post disaster temporary accommodation.

    Its a real shame that in our current market such poor examples still sell like hot cakes and the council still approves such things whilst charging a fortune in the process.

  9. The crossing onto the street will be a nightmare with that many car parks, making Newmarket even less attractive for shoppers. Still these new drivers will add to the congestion nicely…. never know, they may just discover the utility of the train- if they can find it. Buses better get permanent bus lanes through here before the students arrive on the new campus.

    Best hopes that these people live like most car owning Londoners and keep their cars for weekend use only…. How are those alternatives looking….?

    1. Patrick, as the majority of Newmarket retail is south of this point, apart from the Warehouse area which is primarily a vehicle destination anyway, there would be reduced foot traffic here.

      I take your point about weekend car use – that’s pretty much my situation except for site meetings which are usually out of peak time anyway. My son in London uses the tube on weekdays and his kids can walk to school, so another example of predominantly weekend car use, or off-peak week-day use by his wife (only one car, a BMW of course).

      1. I have recently been staying in Stoke Newington, which is not so inner city that most are carless, although our host are (with a two and four year old), but it was very clear that the road use pattern was very different between week ends and week days. With very little private car use for getting to work. The car as a recreational and perhaps grocery shopping device.

        Interestingly next week we will be right in the city where our hosts are scratching their heads over what to do with an inherited car. They’ve never had a car ( like our previous hosts), but live and travel extremely well. In each case one partner is a kiwi so of course they can drive (of course). Their building has subterranean carparks but they cost £1000 pa.

        That’s a lot of car hire. It seems obvious to me that the car would be a burden. They said they might go the countryside say four times annually…….

        1. £1000 pa? That’s a bargain. They cost more than that to rent in my building. Sounds like the car’s not a good option for your hosts though… especially when you take the higher costs of car ownership in the UK into account!

  10. Yep, that looks special. A nice little car chute onto the street. Hopefully they will shape the footpath into a pseudo road and install one of those ‘Car Coming’ buzzers.

  11. Will this building make it impossible to grade-separate the rail junction beneath ? It would be great if the piles were aligned so a grade separation were feasible some time in the future. For example, the north-bound track of the Papakura line could be lowered beneath the rest of the junction but to the west of its current alignment, and it would eliminate most of the at-grade conflicts.

      1. It is possible, just not particularly feasible/affordable. Newmarket is probably the least concern for the CRL anyway, it’s definitely not the weakest link in the chain.

    1. In an ideal world, you’d be spot on Malcolm but over & over & over again those muppets down at No-pants Brown land. Kiwirail & AT have proved they lack the common-sense required….

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