‘Pocket’ neighbourhood a housing fix?
A new brownfields development in Onehunga could herald the future of housing in our big cities.
Currently accommodating a collection of old warehouses and offices, the 1.29ha site will soon be home to around 500 people in 239 low-rise apartments in five buildings.
Lamont & Co describes its proposed development, between Spring and Victoria Streets, as a ‘‘pocket neighbourhood’’, which teams apartment living with an abundance of shared green spaces. Directors Andrew and Tim Lamont say they want to ‘‘enrich the already vibrant social fabric of the area’’ and have consequently named the project ‘‘The Fabric of Onehunga’’.
The company is no stranger to urban development – it is behind the SKHY mixed-use precinct at the top of Khyber Pass Road in Newton, which is currently under construction.
This new project, however, puts a greater emphasis on landscaping. In addition to commissioning renowned architecture firm Ashton Mitchell Architects, Lamont & Co has hired Boffa Miskell to undertake the landscape design.
Sustainability is also a key factor – the company is working with the NZ Green Building Council to achieve a 6 Homestar Design and Built rating.
Peter Ashton, director of Ashton Mitchell Architects says the buildings will have a semiindustrial aesthetic that will ‘‘evoke the memory of what has been there previously’’.
‘‘This is the first of a series of developments that will gradually change the nature of that part of Onehunga over time,’’ he says. ‘‘It has been made possible by rezoning under the Unitary Plan. At four storeys, the apartments are low rise, but built to the height allowance for the area.’’
Ashton says the ‘‘pocket neighbourhood’’ concept is a key point of difference for this development. ‘‘Rather than just having a single building on a site, this project is a collection of buildings and green spaces creating a neighbourhood that is integral to the site itself. You don’t often get this in a city development.’’
The development will be released in stages, starting with 82 apartments. Prices will start from $545,000 for a one-bedroom apartment with car park. Completion of the development’s first stage is planned for 2019. The sales display and two-bedroom show home will open on site for public viewing in late October.