The Landing taxis closer to take off

5:00 AM Saturday December 5, 2015 Colin Taylor

1. Aerial view of The Landing former flying boat base – the site of a waterfront redevelopment at Hobsonville Point on the Waitemata Harbour.

Hobsonville Land Company (HLC) has entered into an agreement with developer Willis Bond for the sale and development of The Landing - Waitemata Harbour’s former flying boat base and the site of a planned waterfront community hub at Hobsonville Point northwest of Auckland.

Chris Aiken, chief executive of HLC, says the agreement is subject to due diligence and detailed design but it is expected to become unconditional in due course to enable redevelopment of The Landing to begin in 2016.  

The waterfront precinct will contain restaurants and cafes as well as retail, niche office space and residential homes. The project is expected to take three to five years to complete.

“We have begun preparatory work on the heritage buildings and site preparation,” Aiken says. “The seaplane hangar and key historic buildings at the site will remain as part of the new development with HLC undertaking remediation work on these buildings now.”

Willis Bond is developing the Sunderland residential area near the well-known Catalina Cafe and also has a development underway at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

The firm has extensive restoration experience, having completed several keynote developments in Wellington on or near the waterfront including the NZX Centre, Free Ambulance Building and Xero House.

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An artist’s sketch depicting a future cafe adjoining the ferry wharf at Hobsonville Point.

Willis Bond has retained Cheshire Architects, a firm that has played a leading role in the redevelopment of Britomart, to prepare plans for The Landing.

The Landing is 1.8 hectares of north-facing waterfront land at Hobsonville Point. It houses a new wharf for ferry services that connect to downtown Auckland and it also hosts thousands of visitors attracted to the popular Hobsonville Point Farmers Market held most weekends.

Aiken says there is a contractual commitment to retain the Farmers Market for a minimum of three years and design work is underway that considers the market’s long term future on The Landing.

“The market has become a key feature of the site and both Willis Bond and HLC are committed to seeing this develop further,” he says.

Aiken says that HLC is delighted to be close to concluding “what had been a year-long process” to select a development partner for The Landing.

“A great deal of care has been taken over planning the heart of the community of Hobsonville Point which will be central to its relationship to the water and the harbour. Willis Bond has a track record of high quality development and shares the vision for what The Landing can become,” he says. 

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Chris Aiken of Hobsonville Land Company.