Developers sought for Hobsonville Pt block

5:03 AM Saturday May 14, 2016 True Commercial

Construction continues in the new housing development at Hobsonville Point, Auckland.

The latest block of land for sale as part of the $3 billion development of 167 hectare of land at Hobsonville Point in northwest Auckland is offering a mix of options for developers in the rapidly expanding township.

The government owned Hobsonville Land Company Ltd, which is overseeing the master planning and residential and commercial development of the former Hobsonville airbase, has put approximately two hectares of land located in the heart of Hobsonville Point up for sale.

It is seeking registrations of interest from potential development partners, closing June 2.

Bayleys Real Estate’s Sunil Bhana, Mike Bayley, Mike Houlker and Gerald Rundle have been appointed to market the property, known as Block 14.

Bhana says the block can be subdivided into five “superlots” from 2296-4395sq m and registrations of interest can be lodged in one lot, a combination of lots or in the entire site.

“The vendor is looking for experienced residential developers and builders to partner with in this next stage of development, particularly those who can demonstrate an innovative approach to residential development that incorporates some higher density options such as apartments and terraced housing.

“The block has a Terraced Housing and Apartment Building zoning under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. This offers the opportunity to build at a higher density than has been the case to date for other blocks of land at Hobsonville Point, with dwellings up to five-to-six storeys high and an anticipated yield of approximately 230 residential units across the entire site.”

Sea views

Bhana says Block 14 is located on one of the more elevated parts of Hobsonville Point and there are likely to be water views from upper apartment levels across some of the original Air Force residential dwellings which are being retained along Sunderland Avenue.

A staged housing development is underway at Hobsonville Point, a panoramic peninsula that juts into the upper Waitemata Harbour, over a projected 10-15 year period but this will depend on market demand which is currently very strong, says Bayleys managing director Mike Bayley.

“An average of two houses a day are being delivered at present and demand is so high that 95 per cent of all homes are selling off the plan, mostly before construction has begun,” says Bayley

“It is estimated that it would take a year to 18 months to catch up with the current level of pre-sales. The question has been raised in the debate over the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan as to whether Aucklanders will embrace high density housing in the suburbs. Based on the phenomenal demand evident at Hobsonville Point, the answer to that is an emphatic ‘Yes’.”

Hobsonville Land Company’s chief executive Chris Aiken and Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith announced in June last that they would bring forward the development of 1000 new homes at Hobsonville Point by two years.

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The “Block 14” development, at Hobsonville Pt — shown within a red border. Pictures Dean Purcell. 

From under $500,000

The project will ultimately encompass up to 4500 residences priced from under $500,000 to $1.5 million; a retirement village; and the commercial, community and recreational amenities required to support a population of close to 11,000.

Hobsonville Land Company Ltd was established by the government specifically to run the project as part of its aim to increase the supply of quality, medium density housing in Auckland.

“A cornerstone of the development strategy is to provide a range of housing types, sizes and price points within each development block, with an emphasis on energy-efficient, sustainable buildings,” says Houlker.

“Around a third of the homes built on Block 14 will be required to be built under Hobsonville Point’s Axis Series initiative, which aims to provide high quality, affordable homes to first homebuyers. The Axis Series price cap is currently set at $550,000.”

The development of the infrastructure for Hobsonville Point began in 2010 and the building of residences commenced in earnest in 2012. Since then over 1000 homes have been built or under construction, with 350 completed last year.

Work is also underway on a retirement village, Waterford at Hobsonville Point, with Summerset also developing another village close by at Monterey Park.

A new 700-student capacity primary school opened in 2013, a public secondary school with a capacity for 1500 pupils opened in 2014 and an early childhood learning centre opened in 2015.

Houlker says Block 14 is close to all key amenities within Hobsonville Point with the schools, Hobsonville Point Park and playground, Catalina Cafe and neighbourhood retail premises within easy walking distance.

Coastal walkway

The block also has close access points to Te Ara Manawa, the partially completed four-kilometre coastal walkway providing residents with alternative access to key amenities such as “The Landing” and its ferry terminal.

The Landing, a 1.8ha parcel of waterfront land originally developed to bring flying boats ashore to be serviced, will become the commercial and social hub of the point, incorporating a mix of residential, retail, hospitality, niche office and community uses.

The Landing already serves as the departure point for a commuter ferry service to the CBD from a new wharf. It has several World War II heritage buildings and hangars, including the historic Sunderland Hangar which will be retained for refurbishment and reuse.

A popular Farmers’ Market in a re-purposed hangar regularly attracts 4000 visitors a weekend and will also be incorporated into the redevelopment.

In all, more than 30 heritage buildings will be retained throughout Hobsonville Point.

Capping off the development will be the looping coastal walkway plus 24ha of parks, reserves and public open space.

This includes retaining the unique topography and WWII munitions bunkers at Bomb Point, a 13ha park surrounded by the Waitemata Harbour.