High-rise expectations

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 05:00 17/01/2014
New Lynn

FUTURE DESIGN: An artist’s impression of the 10-storey apartment tower and the Merchant Quarter Mews.

New Lynn
IN PROGRESS: The face of New Lynn is changing at a fast pace.

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A "street in the sky" is set to appear in New Lynn later this year as stage two of New Lynn's Merchant Quarter gets under way.

The development features a 10-storey apartment tower and building began in July last year.

Merchant Quarter Mews is now being built beside it. Eighteen two-storey and two single-storey apartments will form an open-air laneway or "street in the sky".

The apartment tower is set to be completed in June and the Mews in August. They are being constructed on the roof of Auckland Council's five-storey carpark.

It is all part of council's $35 million redevelopment of New Lynn's Merchant Quarter.

It already features a shared space, public carpark building, 7000 square metres of commercial and retail space and a main street upgrade.

Local body politicians and business owners are among those looking forward to the economic boost that will come with bringing more people to the area.

Whau Local Board chairwoman Catherine Farmer says having more residents in the area will help build the local economy and push Thursday night's New Lynn Night Markets.

"Everyone will benefit from more residents who want to work and shop in the area," she says.

Businessman Dinesh Mani owns McDonald's franchises in New Lynn, LynnMall Shopping Centre, Kelson, Avondale and Henderson.

He too is confident the new addition will bring more people to the surrounding residential area and a lot more to the economy.

"People shopping locally - that's what we want.

"The rebuilding and restructuring of New Lynn has been a long process.

"Prior to this, there's been a downturn in business in the area but now people will want to come to New Lynn," he says.

The high rise features 110 one and two bedroom apartments and nearly all have been sold to people planning to live there.

About 15 per cent of buyers are older people looking to downsize.

Investors have also swept up some of the housing, meaning there will be apartments available to rent.

Ms Farmer says the high rise will add housing choices for Aucklanders.

"It will be an urban living environment but with a view out to the Waitakeres.

"Housing choices in New Lynn are either traditional or apartment-style which really appeal to older people who don't want to maintain older and bigger homes anymore," she says.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse says apartments are an increasing choice for many people and the high-rise builds on a number of projects already delivered in New Lynn which is "rapidly becoming one of the most important town centres in Auckland to work, do business and go shopping."

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