Waterfront Auckland have announced who will build the new residential “Urban Village” in the Wynyard Quarter.

One of New Zealand’s leading developers, Willis Bond & Co, has been confirmed as the successful candidate to build the first residential precinct in Auckland’s revitalised Wynyard Quarter.

Willis Bond will build 500 to 600 homes as part of a mixed use development in the centre of Wynyard Quarter, which will also incorporate 48,000 m2 of new office space and a five star hotel. Willis Bond, has a strong track record of delivering large-scale, high quality developments in urban and waterfront settings and has also recently been appointed as the residential developer of 4.7 hectares at Hobsonville Point.

The appointment follows an 18 month competitive tender process led by Waterfront Auckland, the landowner and masterplanner of the development, which canvassed over 20 proposals from local and international parties.

John Dalzell, Chief Executive for Waterfront Auckland says the quality of Willis Bond’s design and development process and its strong track record made it a clear cut choice.

“We want to do things differently with this next stage of development in Wynyard Quarter – to create a new residential community which is a model of medium density development demonstrating the highest standards of design and amenity.”

“We have selected a developer who is willing to embrace the design and high sustainability standards we have set. Willis Bond got that from the start with an outstanding bid and a professional and enthusiastic approach since, which indicates they’re committed to our aspirations in a diverse range of residential units.”

Willis Bond managing director Mark McGuinness said his team was excited by the opportunity to contribute to what is New Zealand’s largest urban regeneration outside Christchurch:

“Willis Bond focuses on developing mixed-use projects of scale that represent best-in-class development opportunities. Wynyard Quarter clearly meets these criteria and is an exciting project in an unrivalled location.”

Willis Bond is partnering with three of New Zealand’s leading architects across five residential sites to develop a mixture of apartments, townhouses and duplexes, available in various sizes and at a range of price points.

To meet the standards set by Waterfront Auckland’s Sustainability Development Framework the homes will be required to achieve a minimum 7 Homestar rating with provision for solar power and solar hot water heating panels.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has welcomed the appointment of residential developer for a key part of the city.

“As we look to Auckland’s future, we need more examples of high quality medium density living like that planned for Wynyard Quarter. It will mean less pressure on our transport infrastructure and the added vibrancy created by a permanent residential population will only strengthen our city centre.”

The first homes in the central part of Wynyard Quarter are expected to be available to purchase off the plans by late 2014 and once completed, the development is expected to house more than 1,100 residents.

And here are some artist impressions that have been created.

Wynyard Quarter Residential 1

The development is mostly centred around Daldy St and the Linear Park that has recently been created

Wynyard Quarter Residential 2

In between the apartments will be an east west laneway

Wynyard Quarter Shopping

And here’s the location for those not familiar with the area.

Wynyard Quarter Residential Location

This is a great step forward for the Wynyard Quarter.

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    1. I agree his comment was not helpful, but there might be an element of truth to it. It always worries me these big developments and how they stack up over time. If you look at areas like pakuranga and some of the big state subdivisions of the 50’s they started out as great, but over time deteriated to become less desireable, and in part become new zealands version of “slums”. Over time they then get re-juvenated top become popular agina which is happening now. Likewise the stuff built out flat bush in the 70’s is doing the same thing now with normal urban decay etc. Flat bush and many areas being built now will decay over time as will these big developments built in one hit like stonefields and wynard quarter. How will they look in 30-40 yrs time as there popularity wains and then recovers. They could very easily become modern slums, much like certain parts of hobson street will in time, especially with the fractured nature of apartment ownership making it hard for developments like hobson street to ever get the consensus to demolish and refurbish entire apartment blocks.

  1. Sure, but his point was that requirements for the development should have included social housing. Not without merit.

  2. I like the fact that it is Homestar 7 rating min, great – this is just the type of commitment to sustainable environmental housing this county needs.

    1. True, but these apartments, like most of downtown Auckland will be underwater or perilously close to it within a few decades.

    1. Definitely. By the looks of things on the left hand side there is a string of parallel parking which is miraculously vacant in the picture……

      1. Looks more like paver bands to me, not parking. The stuff to the right looks like a loading space. I guess you need to have those somewhere, but agree that the laneways should discourage, if not outright ban cars…

    2. Typical cyclist – going the wrong way down the lane way! More seriously, why design the laneway with cars in mind?

  3. The architecture isn’t particularly inspiring and I would have some concerns over the east west lanes being wind tunnels given the prevailing wind patterns. A lot more work needs to be done on integrating the buildings with the street and the community otherwise it will be a mono cultural ghetto ( as opposed to a rich persons ghetto )

    1. Yepp I hope there is variety in builds instead of replicating every complex. Also attention paid to wind tunnels, especially with the public spaces in between.

  4. First picture looks great. I have to ask though, of all the places in Auckland that people would choose to live, given appropriate levels of built amenity, is the Wynard Quarter it?

    The motorway, doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, and neither does the diesel.

    If we built these all the way along the coast, from Deveonport to Long Bay, and strung a railway, on the rear end, wouldn’t that be preferable?

    A1 : We live in a Democracy. Numbers count. Statistically, no one lives on the North Shore. Some people will be unhappy, that’s unique.

    In any case, no one said the current residents can’t benefit from progress, did they?

    1. Because the residents of Devenport would never allow it tho happen even though strings of aparments and mixed use buildings along rapid transit corridors would be ideal.

      1. That’s sort of the point. Democracy is about numbers. 1.5 million somewhere in Auckland.

        Q: How many people want to live by the beach?

        A1 : Not me guv.

        Compulsory purchase, if that is what is required, happens all the time. Pay people the equivalent of an “offer they can’t refuse”. It’s sure to lose money, intensifying the coast, but around here, anything really is possible.

    2. “of all the places in Auckland that people would choose to live, given appropriate levels of built amenity, is the Wynard Quarter it?”

      I can think of thousands of reasons why people would want to live there and amenity is one of them, you mightn’t want to, but these apartments much like all the others that get built in the city will be immensely popular.

      1. I suspect the reasons people would want to live there are transit related, and down to the general housing shortage.

        Q : If I don’t have to travel far to work and play ( city style) would I choose to live there?
        A : Yes

        Q : if a railway ran all the way from Britomart to Browns Bay, and there were sufficient apartments/ intensification to provide people, which provide and fund built amenities, and I could live by the beach, not amongst diesel fumes, and near a motorway, and I could get to the city by train in … 20 minutes, would a lot of those people choose that instead?

        Theory 1 : Yes

        Make Wynard a park, forget housing, it’s in the wrong place, and the problem is transit.

          1. Apologies, sometimes it’s difficult to inject laughter into a blog.

            Invercargill has 52000 people, it has a 200 acre park.

            Auckland City has the domain, and Cornwall park, neither are by the waterfront

            Mainly , intensification is occurring where there are no neighbours to complain, or people have already chosen to live in proximity.

            Main problem with Wynard? Aside from the fact it’s on reclaimed land, it is a pocket of space, where we need fields of it. We have the fields, we’ve just been daft enough to put the wrong stuff on them.

            If we’re going to build on reclaimed land, fill in a chunk of the Upper Hadbour. As it is , we have plenty of land, in places with better intrinsic geographic amenity ( that motorway, is going nowhere).

            Unitary Plan consultation? If I turn up to a beachfront house ( singular) and ask if I might replace a house for 4 with housing for 50 ( give or take), the answer will be no. I may fall over in surprise, but I can be unsteady on my feet.

            Do you think Singapore consults? London? Auckland needs to look around the world, have a bit of vision, and think how it needs to go, long term.

            1100 apartment in 10 years? Says it all really.

  5. Presumably the laneway is like that so they can string pulleys and clothes lines between the buildings. (7star buildings surely can’t have electric clothes driers.)

    1. Why not, you can get really, really efficient driers now, not to mention that I live in an apartment with no balcony with a tumble drier and probably tumble dry less than 10% of all washing.

    2. Why not? Sustainability is about avoiding avoidable energy losses and unhealthy processes (for the world and yourself) – not about making life impractical. Don’t be so cynical.

  6. The next big step for this area and one that should take it to the next level – a residential population. I think this will drive another surge of residential elsewhere in the CBD too. Those who cant get into this will be looking for alternatives nearby.

    Will be interested to see what place retail plays in this area (and not souvenir shops – bookstores, gadgets, etc.) Something missing from the viaduct area at the moment.

  7. Hopefully, by the time this is built we will have an idea if they can get the tram running down to Britomart as well (but with cheaper tickets please if you can prove you live somewhere in the Wynyard precinct to make it affordable – after all better a small profit from regular users then no profit and empty tram vehicles…)

    1. Yes, hopefully the old trams, mixed with some new modern trams can be re-introduced and operate as part of the PT network linked up with Britomart rather than an overpriced “nothing to see here” tourist tram.

  8. 10 years to build 600 apartments! the Chinese would have it built in 10 months. And 1,100 residents would struggle to support a corner dairy let alone a tram.

  9. Was the location of the Events Centre a mistake? It has a lot of glass, but the attention of people using the building must be on the events happening inside. Yet it has a desirable view of the harbour. I think it should have been on a site away from the water, with apartments like the ones pictured being on the edge of the water.

    1. 99% of the events have to close the curtains, can’t see the screens and pretty lighting with the sun coming in.

  10. Willis Bond seem to have built quality developments down here in Wellington, hopefully their good record will continue.

    With this development going ahead, does anyone know if land has been set aside for a future railway station for when the North Shore finally gets rail? It’s only a concept at this stage but it makes sense to think of these things…presumably the tunnel would be deep enough to be bored at that Wynyard?

      1. It would have to be deep if bored, but it would have to be deep anyway because it needs to go under the seabed just a couple of hundred metres after the station. Because of that, it’s likely that it would need to sit under the natural seabed within the Wynyard Quarter.

  11. On balance, Phil Twyford is a fan of intensification. Unlike a political opposite of his who’s running for Epsom.


    “Twyford praised higher density with a focus away from car use and extensive green space. “I’m a huge fan of what Waterfront Auckland is doing. They’re showing the city what high-quality urban renewal can look like and creating excitement about what we can do to regenerate the waterfront and create a vibrant city,” Twyford said. “

    1. I’d love to hear the rest of what Phil Twyford had to say. The headline seems out of sync with what he on balance had to say… though that would sadly not be atypical of recent Herald efforts 🙁

  12. I simply expressed regret that a ratepayer-owned organisation like Waterfront Auckland hadn’t found a way to incorporate affordable housing into such a major development. Bear in mind I am not talking about social housing (ie Housing NZ). It wouldn’t be a good use of limited state housing resource to buy property in Wynyard Quarter. I am using affordable in the sense of a range of price points that are affordable to people earning broadly middle-ish incomes. Waterfront Auckland subsequently clarified that they are hoping to have a range of price points, with the bottom end being apartments at $500K. That’s not very affordable I would have thought. We have two problems when it comes to affordable housing in this city. First we are not building enough houses, and the shortage compounding year on year is one of the things that is driving prices up so fast. The other is that we are not building enough affordable housing. When there is such unmet demand it makes sense for builders and developers to build only high-end homes because they generate more profit. There are things we can do to fix the first problem (Kiwibuild is one of them). For the second, we should be requiring that affordable housing is included in all new developments. And Auckland Council should be leading the way with its own developments. As should Housing NZ, with Hobsonville in which they have a half share, but sadly the affordable components there are pretty weak. The Special Housing Areas can be required to include up to 10% affordable but again this is weak. The market delivers about 5% on its own. The alternative to requiring a share of affordable units in new developments, is to ease the density rules particularly in areas where there is strong market demand – allow more height and smaller dwellings – and this will encourage more affordable housing in areas where people want to live. But if you are going to do that you definitely want to set high urban design standards, and requirements for green space etc. The other reason to include affordable housing in new developments is that mixed-income communities tend to be a lot more vibrant and do better.

    1. Yes this makes more sense. There will be a range of apartments available at different price points. I’m all for mixes in sizes of dwellings in developments for families, singles, different incomes.

      Affordable is different to different people. The apartments are hardly going to given away at a loss for $100,000. People who can afford $500,000 are hardly the enemy.

  13. I wonder if anyone has looked at the profit margins on big and small apartments. Others out there may have the exact figures. My understanding is that the profit margin on a small apartment is much higher so I would take a punt that @$500,000 the developer is taking excessive profit to cover the lower profit margin on the bigger apartments. I am basing my observation on the fact that an 85m2 apartment I know of ,on the 4th floor sold for $650,000 while a 124 m2 apartment on the 19 floor with sea views sold for $930,000 . The 19th floor apartment is cheaper per square m and is 15 stories higher.Go figure. Historical sales in this building suggest that for each rise in floor level there is a $22,500 increase in value. So lets see by working backwards what the 4th floor apartment should be. First reduce the value of the 19th floor apartment by the difference in floor area 85/124 x $930,00 = $ 637,500 then reduce the value by the number of floors which is $637,500 minus 15 floors x $22,500 = $637,500 – $337500 = $300,000. Therefore to have the same profit margin on both apartments the 4th floor apartment should be $300,000 . My figures are a bit rough and there are a few other factors to take into account but you get the idea. What is definitely apparent is that sales of smaller apartments definitely subsidize the larger apartments and raises the question ….If we are to address housing affordability we need to ask questions like this one about the fairness of this practice.

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