Auck­land’s new­est wa­ter­front hot spot

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TOM CARNEGIE

A trendy new re­tail hub has opened up a hid­den jewel of Auck­land fol­low­ing a decade of con­tro­versy and de­lays.

Orakei Bay Vil­lage mar­ket, lo­cated on the wa­ter­front of Orakei Basin in Re­muera, will fea­ture 29 busi­nesses rang­ing from high end su­per­mar­ket Farro Fresh to pop­u­lar craft beer bar and brew­ery Broth­ers Beer.

Other ten­ants in­clude de­sign store Fa­ther Rab­bit, florist The Botanist and free range ro­tis­serie chicken eatery Bird On A Wire.

Equinox Group is the com­pany be­hind the 6000sqm de­vel­op­ment.

Di­rec­tor Kerry Knight said about $10 mil­lion had been spent de­vel­op­ing the site.

Lo­cated in a 50-year-old ware­house ad­ja­cent to Orakei Train Sta­tion the vil­lage has not been with­out con­tro­versy.

For about a decade Equinox Group had planned to de­velop the site on a much larger scale that in­cluded high den­sity hous­ing.

How­ever, the process was plagued with con­sent­ing is­sues, es­ca­lat­ing con­struc­tion costs and op­po­si­tion from res­i­dents re­sult­ing in the com­pany shelv­ing the project in late 2015, can­celling $100 mil­lion worth of off-the-plan sales.

In mid-2016 Knight res­ur­rected a scaled down ver­sion of the project, re­sult­ing in the vil­lage.

Equinox has ap­plied for a non­no­ti­fied re­source con­sent to de­velop a res­i­den­tial com­plex be­side the vil­lage.

The eight-level, 30 unit, apart­ment build­ing would be de­vel­oped on a site cur­rently oc­cu­pied by Kings Plant Barn which plans to re­lo­cate into the vil­lage.

For Broth­ers Beer the vil­lage is its third craft beer bar in Auck­land.

An­thony Browne, Broth­ers Beer owner, said its Orakei site, which opened on Thurs­day, would fol­low its two other bars by hav­ing a brew­ery on site.

‘‘We weren’t plan­ning on open- ing a new lo­ca­tion, but as soon as we saw the in­cred­i­ble ware­house style with the view through the po­hutukawa over Hob­son Bay we knew it was per­fect for Broth­ers.’’

Un­like its other bars, the Orakei site will have a bar­rel wall, made from old wine bar­rels pur­chased from Dog Point Vineyard.

Browne said ales would be aged in the bar­rels to cre­ate mod­ern and tra­di­tional brews.

‘‘Bar­rel ag­ing presents the op­por­tu­nity to make beers with com­plex and unique flavours which would other­wise be im­pos­si­ble to cre­ate,’’ Browne said.

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