Transformation of Auckland's Wynyard Quarter model for future development
Around $1 billion worth of construction is about to get underway on Auckland's waterfront.
On Wednesday Auckland Council held a blessing of its sites in Wynyard Quarter, the old industrial area next to the Viaduct Basin that is being transformed into an upmarket apartment and office precinct.
Work is expected to begin next month on 113 homes, with construction starting on another 51 apartments in November.
Initial work will begin in less than a fortnight on the first two major commercial building projects - the old Southern Spars building, and a development called Innovation 5A.
The sites will eventually be the location for 500 new homes and 48,000 square metres of commercial space.
Meanwhile construction is underway on the ASB waterfront theatre on the corner of Madden and Halsey Streets, which is due to open late next year.
Work will begin in early 2016 on a five-star hotel on the former Emirates Team New Zealand site overlooking the Viaduct.
The Wynyard Quarter redevelopment is being overseen by the council's newest agency, Panuku Development Auckland, formed out of the merger of Waterfront Auckland and Auckland Council Properties Ltd on September 1.
Council chief executive Stephen Town said the aim of the new agency was to make use of surplus council property around the city and help progress the council's housing and town centre regeneration objectives.
Wynyard would be a model for other redevelopments, he said.
"What we're trying to do there is take all the good things we've achieved on the waterfront and in Wynyard Quarter and replicate that brownfield regeneration in other locations."
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said Wednesday's blessing ceremony marked the changing waterfront landscape and a strategic use of publicly owned land.
"It's important we take the time to mark the passing of the land from its former industrial use to the location for a new residential and working community as it also recognises the significance of the historical links of the waterfront to mana whenua in Tamaki Makaurau."
John Dalzell, Panuku Development Auckland's interim chief executive, said after opening up the western edge of Auckland's waterfront in 2011 with more public spaces, restaurants and bars, the central precinct of Wynyard Quarter will be an important next step.
"What we're talking about here is setting an exemplar for medium density development for the region.
"Building designs will inspire and new behaviours will be encouraged through approaches to recycling, energy and water conservation and generation, walking and cycling amenities, car parking and transport."