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Tower plan a bit less grand

MARNIE HALLAHAN
Last updated 09:42 17/05/2012
TOWER

CHANGING: Takapuna's skyline will have a new addition with the now 20-storey Merge Tower.

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A last-minute 10-storey scaledown of the $200 million Merge Tower won't interfere with the planned start date, Location Group managing director Mark Weipers says.

The development plans have been brought down from 30 storeys to 20 after a "market-driven" decision from the group.

"In the current economic environment it was decided that we'd be better to have a reduced scheme," Mr Weipers says.

Ten storeys will come off the tower height but the building will be spread more to the boundaries with a slight reduction in both the residential and commercial space, he says.

The alterations will not impact on the promised 750-space public car park the Auckland Council has set $36.6m aside for, in an effort to improve parking issues in Takapuna.

The development, which will take up the old Gasometer site on Huron St won council consent last year after a four-year battle.

The site was sold to the Location Group for $12.5m by North Shore City Council in 2007 in a conditional agreement that hinged on the buy-back of parking spaces to be used for the public.

Aside from parking, the now $150m development will house ground floor retail spaces for small boutiques, cafes and restaurants and a large public plaza.

The higher levels will be a mix of individual office suites and one and two-bedroom terraced apartments with penthouse living on the top floors.

Mr Weipers says the development's resource consent is in the process of being amended and he expects everything to go smoothly.

"The way we see it we've got consent for a big scheme so there shouldn't be any trouble getting consent for a smaller one."

The planned start date of October this year is still on target and the development is expected to take until March 2014 to complete.

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- North Shore Times

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