Archive | Regeneration

Equinox wins consent for Peninsula at Orakei Bay Village

Equinox Group Ltd has obtained resource consent for its luxury residential development beside the Orakei railway station, in the Orakei Bay Village at the foot of Remuera – 12 years after getting involved in the original project as financier, and a year after transforming the small peninsula with a village retail precinct.

The new feature, The Peninsula, will have 32 apartments & penthouses priced from $2.7-13 million, looking back to the city across Hobson Bay.

Image above: Artist’s impression of The Peninsula at Orakei Bay Village.

They’ll be built at the most northerly point of the village, which has bars, eateries, boutique shopping & service stores and is anchored by Farro Fresh & Kings Plant Barn.

The design is for apartments of 150-660m², including covered lanais & balconies. Colliers will market the project and construction is intended to start next year.

The whole site at 228-246 Orakei Rd is partly freehold, partly leasehold, and the early intention over a decade ago was to build over the railway tracks, incorporating council-owned carparking land.

Equinox Group director Kerry Knight said yesterday the plans have been scaled back to remove the complexities of the previous requirement for development over the train tracks & a land swap with the council: “We are now only building on our freehold land, and The Peninsula is the premier waterfront location for residents in Orakei Bay Village.”

The original development proposal was by Tony Gapes’ Redwood Group Ltd. After he failed to get the project through all the council hoops, and the complications of leasehold interests, Equinox took charge of the project, but put it on hold in 2015 after further issues with Auckland Council & Auckland Transport made funding impossible.

The site for the Peninsula, right on the water’s edge, is where King’s Plant Barn was previously located.

Earlier stories:
14 March 2014: Orakei Point plan change over last hurdle
1 April 2011: Gapes’ Orakei Pt plan change approved
11 June 2010: Tramco throws Orakei Pt development scheme into disarray
9 June 2010: Orakei Point development far from fait accompli
17 January 2010: Council notifies Orakei Point plan change, but commercial agreement missing
9 October 2009: Orakei Point gets council-sponsored plan change
7 October 2009: Council pushes ahead with Orakei Pt plan as locals reiterate congestion concerns
16 September 2009: Latest Orakei masterplan gets a better reception
29 April 2009: Orakei criticism muted this time
15 July 2008: Braying at a developer’s consultant no way to demonstrate council leadership
11 July 2008: Mayor launches blistering attack on Redwood at presentation to councillors as Gapes holidays in Fiji
17 June 2008: Gapes unveils Orakei Pt masterplan
18 March 2008: Redwood’s Orakei consent declined week after master plan agreement reached
10 March 2008: Mayor gets agreement to intervene in Orakei consent process
7 February 2007: Community board supports residents’ group opposing development, wants comprehensive plan done for Orakei Rd
10 December 2006: Now it’s Tony Gapes’ turn to propose Jacobsens site development

Attribution: Company & agency release.

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Roskill South: a small window on a growing regeneration programme

Published & corrected 10 September 2018 – 2 numbers transposed in original version

Housing NZ has completed the first homes in what will be its biggest regeneration project in Auckland, removing 3000 houses gradually in groups and building at least 8400 replacements in Mt Roskill over 10-15 years.

It again involves another Government subsidiary, HLC (2017) Ltd – the former Hobsonville Land Co, now with a wider role – as project manager. HLC is already undertaking that role in Auckland regeneration projects in Mangere & Northcote.

Image above: The Roskill South regeneration area.

It will also align with the KiwiBuild concept of developing communities of mixed ownership – about one-third each of state housing, KiwiBuild homes (state-developed, to become privately owned) & houses sold direct to the market.

Corrected: In Mt Roskill, the targets are 3000 each for new state houses and for the open market, 2400 for KiwiBuild customers. [State & KiwiBuild numbers transposed in original version].

Housing & Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford (pictured), onsite for an inspection yesterday, said the Roskill South segment of the overall Mt Roskill project was also likely to introduce the shared ownership concept, raised by former Roskill MP & housing minister Phil Goff when he campaigned for the Treasury benches in 1984, but rarely used since.

“I’m expecting to have more say on shared equity in a couple of months,” Mr Twyford said.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff.

Mr Goff, now Auckland’s mayor, was at yesterday’s walk-around, which started at a new 3-bedroom house on Freeland Avenue, celebrating completion of the first new homes in Roskill South. His involvement with the neighbourhood goes way back: “I used to play in this street when I was a 6-year-old,” he commented.

The key to the financial success of the regeneration projects is intensification in existing suburbs, in many cases – such as the replacement at 43 Freeland Avenue – providing 4 homes where there was one.

Remodelling the landscape

The second important factor, arising alongside intensification, is the revision of the landscape. What’s known as the Freeland Reserve is there because, when the subdivision was begun decades ago, spaces not conducive to construction were set aside as “drainage reserves”.

In the second stage of the Roskill South regeneration, the covered drain will be “daylighted” and will resume being a stream, regarded as better to deal with stormwater. Auckland Council will lead that task, as it has done at other stream daylighting exercises in various suburbs where new housing development is taking place, and overall project manager HLC will contribute $2.7 million to the upgrade cost.

Modernising the old tram route

The third factor is access. Freeland Avenue winds around the middle of a small, undulating precinct between the maunga (the volcanic mount of Puketapapa – Mt Roskill) in Winstone Park, with the Akarana golfcourse beside it, Richardson Rd at the southern edge of the precinct, and Dominion Rd running from the fringe of the city centre almost all the way to the Manukau Harbour, passing beside this precinct and ending at Waikowhai Park.

Auckland’s first light rail line is planned to run out from the city centre, down Dominion Rd, and continuing on to Auckland Airport at Mangere. It will pass within 300m of most of the housing in the Roskill South regeneration, and also run past the Housing NZ regeneration project which began in Mangere in July, upgrading public transport to big job centres at each end.

Financing rental housing

Mr Twyford briefly mentioned one avenue for financing the increase in rental housing, private sector investment funds. That is about to start happening, assuming the successful launch of the Haven Living fund by Kerry Hitchcock (see separate story to be posted on Wednesday).

Housing NZ, Auckland housing programmes
Mt Roskill development
Mt Roskill South development

Related story today:
First homes finished in Roskill South

Related stories, 16 July 2018:
Putting change in context
Robertson outlines focus shift from GDP measure to wellbeing
Demolition starts on Mangere regeneration project
Finance minister calls Productivity Commission in to examine local body funding

Attribution: Site visit, Housing NZ & HLC websites.

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First homes finished in Roskill South

Published 10 September 2018

The Roskill South component of the Mt Roskill regeneration project began a year ago and will see 260 old state houses replaced by about 900 new homes. Housing Minister Phil Twyford caught an update on the project yesterday, on completion of the first new homes.

Image above: Regeneration beside the Freeland Reserve, at the foot of Puketapapa (Mt Roskill).

Housing NZ intends to replace the old state houses with 302 new state houses and 578 houses destined for private ownership over the next 6 years. Some will be sold on the open market and the others categorised as “affordable” and included in the Government’s KiwiBuild programme.

Roskill South stage 1 will see 25 state houses removed (some gone already) and 80 built over the next 2 years on a total 1.3ha. At a land value of about $1200/m² (an HLC guide on costs), section prices can be reduced below $200,000. At $2500/m² for construction, a 160m² house can be built for $400,000. Note: Those are rough & general calculations. Costs & prices will vary across the development, and new laneways will be introduced.

Mr Twyford said of the intensification, that the KiwiBuild programme “will help us build our way out of the housing crisis. Most wash their face through redevelopment of the land. We’re taking advantage of the Housing NZ balance sheet – we’re not expecting to need to use the Government balance sheet.”

In his one reference to the imminent advent of urban development authorities, Mr Twyford said the Auckland authority “is going to be leading up to a dozen state housing projects throughout Auckland”, but housing was only one part of that equation: “We’re planning a system for infrastructure,” he added.

Roskill South stage 2

In the second, 5ha stage of Roskill South, house removal & demolition will start this year, about 90 old state houses will go, and 300 new homes will be built, including 50-60 state houses.

The balance of 240 new homes will be aimed at the open market, including a proportion of cheaper homes.

Overall Mt Roskill project

The Roskill South regeneration area.

The Mt Roskill project is initially targeting Roskill South and the nearby suburb of Owairaka, most famous for its production of world-beating athletes in the 1960s, led by Murray Halberg & trained by Arthur Lydiard. Regeneration in other neighbourhoods is being considered over the 10-15 years of the project.

The area has 3000 state houses spread over 143ha (21/ha), to be replaced by about 10,000 homes at 70/ha. The current plan, according to Mr Twyford, totals 8400 – 2400 state houses, 3000 each of open-market & affordable homes to be marketed.

Under the Auckland housing programme, the Government’s target is to deliver almost 11,000 new state houses and over 12,600 new market homes in Auckland over the next 10 years, including cheaper homes under the Government’s KiwiBuild scheme.

While the focus has been on getting more houses built, and replacing old stock with warmer homes, Roskill MP Michael Wood said it was also about building communities.

That’s one reason for the mix of ownership – retaining a high percentage of rentals, adding first-homebuyers through KiwiBuild and including houses built for the open market.

Mr Wood’s predecessor as local MP, mayor Phil Goff, said Auckland’s current build rate was about 12,850 homes/year, and intensification meant 69% of them would be built in brownfield areas (existing suburbs), not in greenfields: “That means we are doing what we intended. Bring on light rail.”

As for the old drainage reserves, Mr Goff said they’d be transformed: “This [Freeland Reserve beside the new house the minister was being shown] will be a place for the community to congregate, with open streams instead of drains.”

Mr Goff was also pleased the commitment was made to tenants moving out to make way for the redevelopment, to be prioritised as residents of the new-builds, either as tenants or buyers. Gentrification [introducing higher-income residents in more expensive homes] was a concern Mr Twyford expressed when he visited the Mangere regeneration project, and Mr Goff commented: “We don’t want to gentrify.”

Mr Twyford reiterated his concern too: “These big urban development schemes are not simply a turbo-charged gentrification – the last thing we want to do is drive up the price of land and drive people out. We’re going to make sure the people who live in this community are at the head of the list to buy these new homes. People who move out will have the right to move back in.”

4 replacing 1

Housing NZ’s asset development group general manager, Patrick Dougherty, was developing apartments before he moved to the corporation 6 years ago. He said Housing NZ would add 6400 homes over the next 4 years, and planned to increase its portfolio by 16,000 over 10 years.

The intensification is evident in Roskill South. On 12 sections there where houses had been removed, Mr Dougherty said 45 new ones would be built: “And they’ll still have a tree at the back and a private yard.”

Housing NZ hiring overseas

One drawback is the shortage of appropriate construction workers. Mr Dougherty said Housing NZ had 2300 applications in the UK & South Africa when it went looking for development & project managers and quantity surveyors over winter. After interviews in London, 18 of the top 30 had been confirmed and should start arriving next month.

“We’re also recruiting here – 13 joined the asset development group last week.”

Price remains an issue

Mr Twyford addressed the continuing concern that intending to build more homes is fine, but Auckland is an expensive – $1 million-plus – city. In those circumstances, he said a $600,000 new home was “relatively affordable”. But, he added, “We know a $5-600,000 mortgage is not affordable. That’s why we’re introducing shared equity and reforming the rental laws.

“The $650,000 top of the KiwiBuild range is not a target, it’s a maximum. The first KiwiBuild homes at McLennan, Papakura, with 3 bedrooms, are selling for $579,000, way short of that price cap.

“We’re taking land built on in the 1950s-60s, retaining the number of state houses in the community but, through good urban design & modern architecture, we’re building better communities, using the land much more efficiently.”

Housing NZ, Auckland housing programmes
Mt Roskill development
Mt Roskill South development

Related story today:
Roskill South: a small window on a growing regeneration programme

Related stories, 16 July 2018:
Putting change in context
Robertson outlines focus shift from GDP measure to wellbeing
Demolition starts on Mangere regeneration project
Finance minister calls Productivity Commission in to examine local body funding

Attribution: Site visit, Housing NZ & HLC websites.

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Housing to replace Henderson carparks attracts international designers

Published 28 August 2018
5 teams have been shortlisted in a global design competition to redevelop 2 Henderson carparks into housing.

Image above: The Alderman (left) & Falls (right) carparks, across Edmonton Rd from each other in Henderson.

The 2 sites were nominated last year for Reinventing Cities, an international contest to inspire world-leading sustainable design. You can check most of the shortlisted entrants’ websites below.

Reinventing Cities is run by C40, a group of cities around the world working together on climate change, which Auckland Council went close to not joining when membership was proposed in 2015. The super-city’s first mayor, Len Brown, said he was invited to apply for membership at the world cities summit in Singapore in 2014 and believed membership could be beneficial for Auckland’s regeneration.

However, when membership finally went to a vote 7 months after going to a council committee for approval, it was only carried 9-7. Most of the minority said it was a nice idea, but not a priority.

Henderson the urban eco-centre

The Henderson sites were chosen as Auckland’s nominees, fitting the Reinventing Cities criteria for innovative low-carbon design as they’ve been part of a long-held development vision for Henderson as an urban eco-centre.
13 bids were received across both sites. After a screening & selection process, the 5 successful design teams have been selected to progress to the next round. They will be invited to respond to the request for proposal that gets underway in late September. The teams are:

  • Te Tira Ngakaunui, led by Ockham Group (Mark Todd, Auckland) with Cheshire Architects (Auckland) & Jakob + MacFarlane Architects (Paris)
  • Taupae Commons, led by Central Element (Australia) and Nicolas Laisné Architectes (Paris)
  • Te Kopua, led by Province Developments (Collin Elder, Auckland) with Sills van Bohemen Architects (Auckland)
  • Tiriwa Collective, led by international design collective Studio AH-HA (Lisbon)
  • Falls Collaboration, led by Isthmus Group (Auckland & Wellington)

One of the “foreigners” on the shortlist is Brendan MacFarlane, who was born in New Zealand, graduated from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles in 1984, received his master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Architecture in Boston in 1990, and partners Dominique Jakob at their Paris-based firm.

Compelling visions, says Hulse

The Alderman site borders the Oratia Stream and has a proposed cycle route along one edge. The larger Falls carpark is next to the historic Falls Hotel. Both sites have been identified for residential development as part of plans to revitalise Henderson. As prominent ‘gateway’ sites, they have the potential to make a strong visual statement about Henderson’s vision & identity.

Cllr Penny Hulse.

Waitakere ward councillor Penny Hulse, who chairs Auckland Council’s environment & community committee, was deputy mayor when the super-city’s first mayor, Len Brown, proposed membership of C40 and was a leading advocate of environmentally sound development as a councillor in the old Waitakere City.

She said the interest in the C40 competition was an exciting step towards realising Henderson’s future: “It’s great to see such a strong response from the global design community. These are 5 compelling visions for Henderson, all with sustainability front & centre. As the competition moves into a more detailed phase, it will be exciting to see how these visions evolve.

“The urban eco-centre strategy puts families & the environment at the very heart of how Henderson is developed. Reinventing Cities is a great opportunity to capture world-leading expertise to create resilient, future-focused neighbourhoods that will be wonderful places to live.”

Under the Reinventing Cities rules, bidding teams had to respond to 10 challenges central to sustainable precincts – including solutions for energy, water, waste, movement, ecology & greener lifestyles. The RFP (request for proposals) stage will open on 30 September and close in February.

The project is in the hands of Auckland Council development agency Panuku Development Auckland, which has the task of delivering urban redevelopment at multiple locations and on scales from large long-term urban regeneration projects to small projects on specific sites.

Ockham Group
Cheshire Architects
Jakob + MacFarlane Architects
Central Element
Nicolas Laisné Architectes
Sills van Bohemen Architects
Studio AH-HA
Isthmus Group

Earlier stories:
16 October 2015:
Council to join C40 global climate change network after tight vote
12 October 2015: Why aim high when we’re just fine on low?
16 March 2015: Council holds off joining international climate group C40
6 July 2005: Simpson the boffin councillor sets path for Auckland to become high-flying technology conference site, with a benchmarking brand

Attribution: Council release.

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Council buys Onehunga Wharf from port company to aid suburb’s transformation

Auckland Council has bought Onehunga Wharf from Ports of Auckland Ltd to further plans for revitalising the suburb over the next 30 years.

The transformation will be led by the council’s redevelopment agency, Panuku Development Auckland.

The vision for the wharf is that it will be transformed into a new community with homes, cafes, retail & public space, while retaining its seafaring history & spirit.

Public events or development on the site are up to 5 years away. Panuku has to negotiate usage with other key players such as the NZ Transport Agency, undertake maintenance & upgrades, work with existing leaseholders and address health & safety issues.

Mayor Phil Goff said yesterday: “Onehunga Wharf is an historic part of Auckland & the Manukau Harbour. This purchase will enable us to protect & enhance this great part of our city.  “We want to ensure that this heritage, that has so much potential, is retained so Aucklanders can enjoy it for generations to come.

“We’ve been working for years on developing Onehunga’s potential as a key destination in Auckland. From the reclamation of Onehunga’s waterfront to the introduction of light rail, these changes will be transformative for Onehunga.”

Council planning committee chair Chris Darby said the 4ha site would play a key role in building on Onehunga’s strengths and revitalising the area: “This site provides a great opportunity to rethink how Onehunga will reconnect & embrace its historic harbour-edge location. With the threat of the East-West Link severing the town from the waterfront removed, Onehunga Wharf can plan for a future as a magnet for Aucklanders, with the flavour of a new Wynyard Quarter. People can relax & socialise, or enjoy commercial, cultural & tourism activity – all right alongside the existing fishing industry.

“Auckland’s unique ‘3 harbours’ context provides a multitude of waterfronts for Aucklanders to choose from – not just in our city centre. It’s important that we enrich these areas so that everyone has a waterfront they can enjoy.”

The redevelopment of Onehunga will be implemented over the next 25 years. It will include creating high quality public spaces, mixed styles of housing near the town centre, facilitating improved public transport & better connections to the Manukau Harbour.

Maungakiekie-Tamaki councillor Josephine Bartley said securing the wharf was a key win for Onehunga: “The wharf plays a crucial role in connecting our community to the Manukau Harbour. It’s great to see it secured as an area that could eventually be opened up to the people of Onehunga as a flourishing & lively centre that is well connected to its past, its community & the surrounding environment. The port has a strong & important history for the people of Onehunga. Bringing it into public ownership means we can make sure that the community enjoys it and benefits from it for years to come.”

Panuku design & place director Rod Marler said it was important that any development on the wharf maintained a strong connection to the harbour and retained its history & authentic seafaring spirit: “This landmark purchase is a critical component of the transformation of Onehunga. The wharf is the only west coast port in Auckland and has a rich & vibrant history dating back to pre-colonial times. Wynyard Quarter was a place where we successfully transformed the waterfront into a people-oriented place that is fully accessible to the public. We see similar potential in Onehunga.”

Onehunga transformation  

Attribution: Council release.

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Council approves “transform & unlock” reinvestment for regeneration

Auckland Council’s finance & performance committee has approved the reinvestment of council property sales proceeds over the next 1-3 years into the ‘transform & unlock’ work programme – not necessarily into the same locality as the property sold – along with a broader suite of tools to fund urban development to be included in the council’s 10-year budget.

The approval was on the proviso that asset sales targets set in the council’s long-term plan are being met, “together with progressing more enduring revenue tools for funding the infrastructure, amenity & place activation required to support intensification in these brownfield locations”.

Those tools include reinvestment of proceeds of property sales and some changes to existing funding tools, such as the council’s strategic development fund. Mayor Phil Goff has proposed another potential funding tool in the 10-year budget – targeted rates for development areas – which would require legislative change.

The council will reinvest about $200 million of revenue from disposals in the transform & unlock programme to deliver amenity, activation & infrastructure projects. This will also involve the council-approved acquisition of some strategic sites.

The transform & unlock programme devised in 2015 involves the regeneration of many inner-city & brownfield sites.

The top tier, the transform locations, are central Manukau & Onehunga.

Below them, the first round of unlock locations comprises Avondale, Henderson, Hobsonville, Northcote, Ormiston, Papatoetoe, Panmure & Takapuna.

An application is before the High Court for judicial review of the Takapuna unlock proposal.

Committee chair Ross Clow said in a release after Tuesday’s meeting: “We need to be able to find ways to identify underutilised & tired areas in the central city. There are many areas that we will be able to optimise & reinvigorate through careful & sensitive development.

“To maintain the excellent quality of life that Aucklanders are used to & expect, we need to be creating more developments around existing hubs in the towns & villages throughout Auckland where there are already nearby transport options, schools, shops, community services & opportunities for recreation. By developing on existing brownfield sites, it is more likely that we can develop sustainable & affordable housing & an enhanced quality of life.”

Auckland Council, 20 March 2017: Agenda item 11, progressing urban development, streamed
Agenda item 11: 11, Progressing urban development

Earlier stories:
7 March 2018: Panmure & Takapuna carpark Unlock projects approved
27 November 2017: Panuku buys site to support Unlock Avondale project
8 November 2017: Unlock Avondale project gets go-ahead, Takapuna carpark decision deferred
7 June 2017: Hamilton-Auckland commuter rail service wins support “in principle”, Panuku gets more tools
24 May 2017: Council supports regeneration actions
29 March 2017: Committee progresses unitary plan changes, city centre masterplan, waterfront, Panuku programme, Onehunga project, land transport, northern corridor, Whenuapai, sites of significance
20 March 2017: Unlock Henderson project moves toward firm transformation proposal
19 February 2017: Takapuna reference group lodges ideas on how to upgrade
6 December 2015: How Panuku proposes to lead transformation of Auckland

Attribution: Council committee agenda & release.

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Panmure & Takapuna carpark Unlock projects approved

Auckland Council’s planning committee agreed yesterday to advance 2 of its “unlock” projects, in Panmure & Takapuna.

The Panmure project, for Panmure’s main street, Queen’s Rd, had already been agreed to by the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board, but the majority on the governing body’s committee was at odds with the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board over the fate of the council carpark at 40 Anzac St (and fronting Lake Rd).

There was also division over why the local board should be able to present its view to the committee on the Takapuna project when 2 local groups, the Takapuna Beach Business Association & Takapuna Action Group, had their applications to address the committee during its public forum were declined.

The reason given by committee chair Chris Darby was that the local board was a part of the council, while outside groups had been able to present their views to the Unlock hearing last year. Cllr Darby said that when the committee had deferred its decision last November, it had done so specifically so it could engage with the board.

While the Panmure decision yesterday was straightforward, questioning & debate on the Takapuna project was prolonged. It was approved after a 13-8 vote in favour.

The Unlock programme is led by the council-controlled property arm, Panuku Auckland Development, and is aimed at revitalising centres around the region.

  • I’ll have more on these 2 Unlock projects tomorrow.

Committee agenda items:
9, Unlock Panmure high level project plan
10, Change of use of 40 Anzac St, Takapuna
Council stream on Takapuna

Attribution: Council committee meeting & agenda.

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Panuku buys site to support Unlock Avondale project

Auckland Council regeneration agency Panuku Development Auckland has bought a property on the corner of Great North Rd & Racecourse Parade to support the unlock project for Avondale’s town centre. The site had stood vacant for 15 years.

Whau Local Board chair Tracy Mulholland said securing the site unlocked significant opportunities for the upgrade of the town centre: “The site will be incorporated into the plan to enliven the town centre which will introduce new open spaces, the development of a community facility and implementation of a retail strategy that will attract new businesses.”

Panuku chief operating officer David Rankin said the site had been identified for mixed use development, but Panuku would work with the local board & the community to explore interim uses that could include ‘pop-up’ retail & community activities.

Panuku Avondale

Earlier stories:
8 November 2017: Unlock Avondale project gets go-ahead, Takapuna carpark decision deferred
24 May 2017: Council supports regeneration actions

Attribution: Panuku release.

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Council supports regeneration actions

Auckland Council’s finance & performance committee approved 3 actions yesterday to support urban regeneration, and another likely to result in the transfer of a town centre carpark from Auckland Transport to a supermarket owner.

The 3 regeneration-supporting actions were:

Divestment of 2 areas in the New Lynn town centre totalling 3384m², which Infratil Ltd has first development right on

Sale of council landholdings in central Henderson – with the intention of the local board to recoup at least some of the sale funds – to enable urban renewal & town centre housing

Sale of a number of council landholdings in Onehunga, also to support regeneration and the development of housing, and also with at least some of the sale funds being applied to that, and

Sale of the 19 Anzac Avenue carpark in Browns Bay, most likely to remain a parking lot because a high proportion of users park there to go to the nearby supermarket.

The regeneration proposals are all part of council-controlled Panuku Development Auckland’s task of selling off land the council doesn’t use, and secondly to support Panuku’s programme of transforming town centres.

Onehunga is marked as a “transform” centre and Henderson as an “unlock” centre in Panuku’s priority list of urban renewal around the region.

  • I’ll return to these redevelopment topics in considerably more detail, probably starting in about a week.

Attribution: Council committee meeting.

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Unlock Henderson project moves toward firm transformation proposal

Council property & development arm Panuku Development Auckland will present proposals to the Henderson-Massey Local Board tomorrow for the transformation of Henderson town centre, based on residential intensification at 3 clusters of sites.

The proposals fall under Panuku’s unlock category of centre transformation developed in 2015 – the main category for big projects, transform, is being led by plans for Onehunga & Manukau Central and work already underway in the Wynyard Quarter and under the Tamaki regeneration partnership; the unlock category covers 7 centres plus housing for the elderly; and the third category, support, covers another 8 centres.

Senior project planning leader Richard Davison, who wrote an extensive paper on how to unlock value in Henderson and transform the town centre, said the vision built on the strong foundations of Waitakere City’s eco-city & inclusive approach.

To get to this stage, Panuku has worked with both the local board & mana whenua, but the assessment which led to Henderson being listed as a transformation target in the first place wasn’t flattering. Mr Davison wrote:

“The Henderson centre is fragmented by the 2 streams & the rail corridor, impacting the connectivity from east to west and from the surrounding suburbs into the central area.

“A combination of reduced public reinvestment & maintenance, along with the poor market perception, exacerbated by local crime rates, the area’s lower socio-economic profile and a main street dominated by shopfront vacancies has acted as a deterrent for private investors & businesses to take risks in delivering new projects to the market.

“While there is a broad & general demand for residential growth, the current housing stock lacks diversity, with apartments & terraced housing difficult to justify or get off the ground in a market that has a limited appetite and a clear limit to price point.

“Thus, combined with an eroded strategic mandate, Henderson has been rendered a financially challenging development location. Therefore, Henderson was chosen as a Panuku ‘unlock’ location as a result of a council-led assessment across the region’s urban centres that had potential for urban regeneration.”

Panuku’s high level project plan is aimed at catalysing & reinvigorating “wider private development potential in central Henderson through 3 broad stages of proposed development on specific council landholdings within the project area. The plan takes a cross-council, town centre-wide view of property opportunities to potentially facilitate & enable high quality, residential-led development.”

Panuku sees opportunities for the short, medium & long term in 3 land clusters. 2 along Henderson Valley Rd are the council site (the old Waitakere City Council headquarters) and the film studios area. The third cluster is a group of surface carparks in key central & gateway locations, which Mr Davison said would create the most urban impact if developed.

Panuku seeks the local board’s endorsement of the proposed vision, the 5 principles that would guide development and the 4 goals guiding development.

Assuming effective transformation, Henderson would have high quality medium-density residential & commercial development, walking & cycling links supporting the Twin Streams pathway, public art and Henderson Valley Rd turned into a high quality, mixed-use residential corridor.

Attribution: Local board agenda.

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