‘Pocket’ neigh­bour­hood a hous­ing fix?

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - COLLEEN HAWKES

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.

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