The position is premium; the views are priceless.
That made the auction sign outside 7 Beach St a call to action for Phillip Brown when he drove down to Fitzroy Beach four years ago.
"It was one of those worst house, best street scenarios," Phillip explains. "I contacted the agent and pretty much bought prior to auction that same day."
He wasn't bothered that the property was not immediate beach front; its elevation above the coastline gave it extended wide sea views that he knew could be thoroughly appreciated from a new house.
The old home was promptly demolished to leave the 759sqm section ready for the
385sqm residence he then planned with architect Bill Jackson. Clelands Construction built the striking two-and-a-half-level home that has drawn eyes from the moment of its completion.
You can't miss it as you walk or drive past, offering a crisp contemporary presentation in concrete block, plaster, Titan panel and glass. The capacious garaging is that half level down at the rear.
Position for the home on the property was obvious, according to Phillip. "We built it as far forward as possible ... it's 1.5m from the boundary line."
The height of the upper living areas provides the views that he wanted - focused on Fitzroy Beach. From the glass-framed deck, or back inside the lounge, you can soak in the sight of surfers sliding along breaking waves, the many moods of the sea, stunning sunsets, and the coming and going of ships offshore.
"You can see over roofs to the port, but the view is primarily Fitzroy Beach," Phillip notes.
It's very satisfying enjoying those views from this designer environment - a top-of-
the-market apartment style with a beach-bach influence.
"I wanted a modern design with materials that could withstand the seaside conditions.
My primary concern through the design phase was to make sure that it would not look 50 years old after three years."
Phillip is happy that he's achieved that. "It still looks brand new."
The spaces work as well as the materials. "Wherever you are in here, you are facing the sea rather than looking in to other residential properties."
Even the three lower-level bedrooms get sea views, while the master bedroom upstairs enjoys a mountain outlook as well.
All the living areas are upstairs - open-plan to suit the beach environment, with
exterior decks that wrap around the house to give options to relax outside no matter
the direction a breeze blows.
As well as top-quality materials and finishes, this home features a serious
commitment to technology. That's seen immediately on arrival - the gate down the
side of the house to the rear grounds and bottom garaging is electrically operated, and
the front door automatically swings open when the entry combination is entered on
the digital access pad.
Step inside that door and you find a welcome of polished tiles and finely honed and
sealed concrete blocks in a foyer spacer that rises up into the living areas above. The
polished tiles lead you past the lower bedrooms and garage access around the corner
to the stairwell.
Timber makes a statement in here - in the plywood ceiling, wall-hung cabinet and
wide slabs that form the steps that carry you upstairs. The wood is a warm and
pleasing contrast to the solid surfaces of tiles and block. Stainless steel adds a smooth
and refined texture in the contemporary take on balustrading.
The designer touch has its full impact as you walk into the living areas that stretch the
length of this home, starting with the lounge sitting out into that front corner to gather
in the immediate sea views. A black-wallpapered panel breaks the view to provide a
place for the recessed television and gas fireplace.
Stacker doors open the lounge to the deck outside where you can sit and take in the
sun and those expansive views.
Ceilings in the lounge are a standard height and plastered conventionally, but they
step up in the adjacent dining and kitchen areas to raking plywood surfaces that
enhance the sense of space in here. High-level windows let in more light and are
convenient to use with the assistance of more technology - they are electrically
The kitchen is almost as much an eye-pleaser as the views - it's an award-winning
effort from New Plymouth kitchen designer Glen Johns, taking the Certified Designer
Society Kitchen Design of the Year Award in 2010.
Its quartz island bench top, woodgrain cabinets, back-lit glass and hidden storage
spaces combine to create an element of fine furniture blending into the living areas.
Another wall panel in black wallpaper faces the kitchen and carries another television
screen so the cook doesn't miss the news or a favourite programme.
More sliding stacker doors open both ways from a cantilevered corner to create an
extended living area with indoor-outdoor aspects. It looks down on the rear grounds
where there's a landscaped and paved barbecue area for larger gatherings.
Those gatherings can be large indeed, according to Phillip. "We've had upwards of
150 people on the property, on the decks and inside. It's great for entertaining."
Landscaping details include sophisticated lighting that creates special effects among
the plantings - including highlighting the five palm trees that are a feature in the
grounds. "It gives the place another atmosphere at night," Phillip says.
Lighting inside is highly sophisticated, with multiple controls for zoning lights and
dimming some. Electronic controls include a remote for raising and lowering the
roller blinds throughout the living areas.
Heating is flexible - underfloor throughout the whole upper living area, under tile in
the lower hallway and bathroom, heat pumps in the lounge and master bedroom, and
radiant heaters in the lower bedrooms.
An office (which could become a fifth bedroom) and guest bathroom are located
in the hallway behind the kitchen. Another bathroom is downstairs with the lower
bedrooms and the master bedroom has its ensuite to bring the number of full
bathrooms in this home to three. Sauna and spa features help make life here luxurious
The garaging is a bonus for a property this close to the beach - easily accommodating
three cars, according to Phillip, and could potentially take four vehicles. "There's also
lots of storage for a beach-side home ... to store surfboards and boogie boards."
Despite its designer presentation and high-tech detailing, there's something quite
traditional about this home, Phillip says. "It's a cool place to live ... one of those
homes where you get to know everybody by virtue of their walking past to the beach."
It's only his involvement in building a new hotel in the city that has prompted the
decision to put this home on the market. "The timing is right to sell, to let someone
else enjoy this location," he says.
That location makes this property one of a select number in the city which are
benefiting from seaside settings and increasing values, says Harcourts consultant Jack
Kurta, who is marketing the home with wife Paula.
"This is arguably the best home available in this environment," says Jack. "There has
been no expense spared, and it shows as soon as you open the door. This is a modern
interpretation of the ultimate beach pad."
The seafront end of Beach St is the business end of the Fitzroy lifestyle, he adds.
"People are calling me to say they want to be down on the coast and want the views."
It comes with a cost, as these homes attract a premium price, he says. "Naysayers
scoff at the values ... but our market is moving up and the top end is moving up as
There is a huge commitment to the right location, he continues. "People have been
paying $800,000 or $900,000 for a seafront home and bulldozing the existing house to
spend as much as $2 million building a new one."
The property is zoned Residential B, he says, which means there is potential for future
owners to subdivide if they wish.
WHERE: 7 Beach St, New Plymouth.
HOW BIG: 759sqm in section; 385sqm in home.
HOW MUCH: Expressions of interest invited, closing May 1, 2014, unless sold prior.
WHAT YOU GET: Striking architectural residence on prime setting in New
Plymouth overlooking Fitzroy Beach. Spacious, sophisticated living with high level of
technology and fine finishes. One of the city's premier homes on today's market.
MARKETED BY: Jack Kurta and Paula Petersen at Harcourts - 06 759 9160 or Jack
on 0274 433 358 or Paula on 0274 543 544.
ON THE WEB: open2view.com - ref 242267; taranakiharcourts.co.nz - ref NP5098.
SEE IT: By appointment.
- Taranaki Daily News
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