Wynyard developer chosen

 A residential block on Auckland's Daldy St, one of five residential sites which will be developed by Willis Bond close to the waterfront at the Wynyard Quarter.
A residential block on Auckland's Daldy St, one of five residential sites which will be developed by Willis Bond close to the waterfront at the Wynyard Quarter.

Property developer Willis Bond & Co has won the tender to develop the first residential precinct at the Wynyard Quarter in downtown Auckland.

The project, which will cost at least half a billion dollars and employ thousands of people, is part of a major mixed-used development of housing, offices, shops and public spaces on Auckland’s waterfront.

The precinct was described as  ‘‘a sustainable urban village’’ housing around 1100 residents.

Willis Bond was selected by Waterfront Auckland, the council-controlled body charged with planning the 3.5 hectare site.

Willis Bond managing director Mark McGuinness said it was the biggest project his firm had taken on.

It would be an eight to 10-year project involving 17 buildings across five sites, and 500 to 600 apartments, townhouses and duplexes. 

‘‘It’ll involve thousands, both on and offsite.’’

Waterfront Auckland chief executive John Dalzell said the quality of Willis Bond’s work, which included work at Hobsonville Point and Wellington’s Chews Lane, spoke for itself.

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

Construction is slated to begin at the end of next year, with people being able to buy the first stage of homes off the plans later this year. 

The first homes are due to be finished by late 2017.

McGuinness said large projects like this allowed developers to hire the best and add benefits like movie theatres and gyms that were not usually possible with smaller jobs.

‘‘We look for larger-scale mixed-used developments and you can really do good quality and this ticks all the boxes. The location’s outstanding.’’

Three top architects - Architectus, Athfield Architects and Studio Pacific Architecture - will design the homes, which will be built by LT McGuinness and Haydn & Rollett. 

LT McGuinness has previously partnered with Willis Bond on the Clyde Quay Wharf and One Market Lane in Wellington, while Haydn & Rollett is building Willis Bond’s Sunderland development at Hobsonville Point.

The precinct will span five sites, one of which overlooks the Viaduct Harbour on the corner of Halsey and Madden streets. 

The other four will be based between Daldy, Beaumont, Madden and Pakenham streets.

The homes will be at different prices, and have solar  power and solar hot water, with a minimum seven-Homestar rating.

Auckland mayor Len Brown, whose council has championed a denser city centre, said the project would provide more examples of high-quality medium-density living.

‘‘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.’’

Precinct Properties was appointed as the developer of Wynyard Quarter’s commercial sites in May, and a Chinese developer, Fu Wah International, announced in April that it was planning to build a 200-room five-star hotel on Halsey St.