Wednesday 5 February 2014
Auckland’s new harbourside precinct now one step closer

The dream to transform barren Auckland marina land into a vibrant new neighbourhood with parks, apartments and cafes, is now one step closer.

Bayswater Marina near Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore has for years faced an uncertain future. Until recently, the site’s owners have leased the 3.4-hectare site.

Following lengthy consultation with key stakeholders including local and central government, Bayswater Marina Holdings Limited has advanced its redevelopment plans by purchasing the freehold of the site.

The move will allow the marina company to rejuvenate the stunning harbourside location, by turning car parks and concrete into a new community of cafes and apartments.

Marina owner Simon Herbert says the revamped site will be something all Aucklanders can access and enjoy. He says vast open spaces will remain untouched, and public access will be improved not hindered.

“The new Bayswater marina village buildings will occupy approximately 15% of the entire site,” he says.

“Auckland Council guidelines will ensure that more than 80% of the land remains open space, as it is now. We think that’s a great balance.”

Mr Herbert says the stylish new housing and leisure amenities will focus on family and community.

“Our plan is to build two cafes, a new neighbourhood of around 125 homes, and a variety of childrens’ playgrounds and recreational facilities. There will be parks, beaches, and steps to the water’s edge.”

“Board sailors, kite surfers, paddle boarders and kayakers will have direct access to the waves. Walkers, runners and cyclists will be able to use a 15-metre wide esplanade for a close-up waters edge experience.”

Mr Herbert says the ability to sell freehold homes and apartments is a game-changer, thanks in part to changes introduced in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan.

In terms of design, the marina owners are promising Aucklanders something special.

“Bayswater marina will become a stunning waterfront location, attracting visitors from all over the region. There’s already an established ferry service. Within minutes you can be in the Auckland CBD.

“When the redevelopment is complete, the area will offer a huge range of watersport and recreational activities.

“Auckland can look forward to another jewel in its harbour crown. But this new arrival will boast spectacular and unrivalled city views.

“Currently, the marina is largely unknown and undiscovered by many Aucklanders. But once the revamp is complete, Bayswater Marine Village will be one of the most desirable locations on the Auckland coastline.”

How to find out more

Bayswater Marina will be holding an information evening at on February 12 at 7.30 pm at the Bruce Mason Centre. The event will be open to anyone keen to find out more about the marine village plan.

New Zealand Herald article.

Bob Dey Property Report.

Bayswater marine village – FAQ’s

How did you freehold the land?
Bayswater Marina Holdings Limited has been working with various government departments over many years to achieve this positive outcome. The possibility of freehold purchase was first discussed in the early 1990’s. Following changes to legislation in the late 2000’s, the marina company made a formal application. We have been working closely with government for the last 5 years. We finally signed an agreement late last year to secure the freehold. We view the outcome to be an early example of how Auckland can benefit from the Council’s Unitary Plan.

Was there public consultation?
The legislation under which the application to freehold was made has a strict set of criteria, which the relevant government department LINZ must follow. Bayswater Marina complied with all requirements including consultation with local iwi as requested.

What about public access over the land?
Bayswater Marina is focused on improving public access to the land, as well as the sea. We have agreed to maintain and even improve public access to the water’s edge. This is guaranteed by a registered covenant, which allows pubic access over a 15 metre strip around the property, from mean high water.

How does the purchase affect the proposed development of the land?
Buying the freehold is a game changer for the land and its future. We are focused on providing a quality waterfront asset for Auckland. The opportunity to provide improved access to the water, and other improvements to public spaces (including proposed steps to the water; a beach at the northern end, a sculpture park and playgrounds, as well as café/restaurant facilities and retail outlets), can only occur with a well-planned economic development. A leasehold development would likely have been uneconomic, due to homebuyer resistance.

How will the development affect the open space on the land?
The unitary plan provides that about 85% of the land must remain in open space. The buildings on the land cannot exceed approximately 15% of the land area. The result will be the retention of significant areas of public open space. The buildings will provide welcome shelter from prevailing winds, and provide the opportunity to have cafes and improved public amenities such as children’s playgrounds; a beach, board walks and enhanced interaction with the water for water sports and recreation.

What is your timeline?
The Auckland Unitary Plan is due to become operative in about two and a half years. We will be undertaking further consultation with the community over the coming weeks. We will then progress the design of the village and prepare for a resource consent application. Consents could be issued once the Unitary Plan becomes operative, or earlier if the village is given Special Housing Area status under the Auckland Council Housing Accord.

What style of housing is planned?
Our plan is for a world-class marine village. It will include all the vibrancy and modulation of materials, colour palette, heights, setbacks and textures that one would see in a village evolved over time, rather than one generation. We favour mainly terraced houses. Each home would be waterfront, with its own land and outdoor area. The redevelopment will be mixed. It will feature cafes; some apartments, and of course, marine related businesses.

How affordable will the new housing be?
There is an opportunity to provide some relatively affordable housing with the limited apartments that will form part of the redevelopment. We hope to see these waterfront homes starting at an incredible $500,000 for a one-bedroom apartment with great views. The larger apartments and spacious 3 – 4 bedroom terraced houses will be more expensive, reflecting the higher prices of neighbouring North Shore suburbs. Until designs for these larger homes are complete, it is not possible to be more specific about pricing.