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:banana:

State-of-art aPods herald $2b project
By GREG NINNESS - Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 25 May 2008


Australian developer Doug Rikard-Bell's property company Pelago has started selling the first units of its ambitious Victoria Quarter project in central Auckland.


The huge $2 billion development, which will be rolled out progressively over the next 10 years, will eventually see 20 mixed use residential and commercial office buildings built on the long-neglected former city council workshops site off Nelson St in the CBD fringe.
The 2.9ha site is the biggest redevelopment site left in the city and its location, wedged between the Victorian villas of Freemans Bay and the high-rise buildings in the CBD, lends itself to a variety of uses.

Pelago has awarded the contract to sell the first stage of the development, called Rhubarb Lane, to upmarket residential property specialist Kellands Real Estate, which has been holding presentations for potential buyers over the past week.

Rhubarb Lane will eventually be the gateway to the Victoria Quarter project and, as part of Rikard-Bell's vision for it to become a village-like precinct where people both live and work, it will be a narrow roadway with wide, stone-paved pedestrian shoulders on either side.

The lane will run off Sale St close to the south-east corner of Victoria Park and will be anchored at its far end by a boutique hotel with restaurants and bars at ground level, four levels of hotel accommodation and nine levels of owner-occupied apartments.

Sydney's fashionable Kirketon Hotel in Darlinghurst may give a clue as to how the hotel is likely to appear as this was also developed by Rikard-Bell.

Flanking Rhubarb Lane will be six mixed-use residential/commercial office buildings which between them will provide 100 individual units that are so unusual in their design that Pelago has invented a new word to describe them - the aPod.

The first sod is due to be turned at Rhubarb Lane in July/August. With the current downturn in the market, many developers have put large projects on hold, so Rhubarb Lane and Victoria Quarter are likely to be the largest developments of their type undertaken in the city for some time.

Against that background, Pelago has targeted a particular niche in the market in which there is already a proven demand.

The ground floors of all the buildings on Rhubarb Lane will provide boutique retail premises, but most of the 100 aPods above them will be double height units with a mezzanine upper level.

All units have been designed to make them suitable as residential apartments but their zoning will allow them to be also used as small commercial offices, or for people wanting to live and work from the same premises.

It's a concept which has already proved popular elsewhere.

North Shore developer Rick Martin's Cornerstone Group has had good success developing light industrial/ commercial units with a residential component attached to them in the Albany Basin. The concept proved very popular with a wide range of self employed people and local agents on the Shore report there is good ongoing demand for the units whenever they come up for resale.

However Rhubarb Lane's CBD fringe location means its units have been designed for professionals and semi-professionals, which includes each building having its own strikingly contemporary design.

Rather than have a single architect produce a master plan for the whole development, Rikard-Bell engaged different architects to design each of the buildings to give diversity.

The units are being sold with freehold titles and, because they can be classed as commercial units, their quoted prices are exclusive of GST.

The cheapest unit in the development is $374,000 plus GST and for that you will get a 47m2 unit (with no mezzanine) in a Pip Cheshire-designed building. However there is only one unit in the development at that price.

Most are priced above $500,000 and the most expensive range up to $2.715m plus GST, which would get you a 354m2 unit.

There will be at least two underground car parks for each unit, but these are being sold separately for $65,000 plus GST each.

Matt Baird, who is leading the Kellands team working on the project, said they were getting interest from a wide range of potential buyers: from out-of-towners looking for a convenient inner city bolt hole, to professional people attracted by the advantages of being able to work from home in a CBD fringe location. But the biggest group of potential buyers is investors attracted by the freehold titles on property so close to Ponsonby and the CBD and the wide of range of tenants the units could appeal to.

They also held another appeal to investors.

Most banks would usually lend only up to 60% of the purchase price on commercial units, but because Rhubarb Lane's units could be commercial or residential, a higher residential lending limit was likely to apply.

Baird said Westpac had indicated it would lend up to 85% of the purchase price on the units, provided buyers met the bank's usual criteria.
 

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Very good. Another cool mixed use mid-rise development for Auckland. Will complement Britomart on the other side of the CBD nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Victoria Qurater? :lol:

Perhaps you should change it to Rhubarb Lane cos we already got a thread on Victoria Quarter-which could be used for the Kitchener Group and Tank Farm projects?
 

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I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hope that this goes ahead as planned. It looks like the most innovative development in Auckland ever. Exactly what we need, and a good way to revitalise a pretty crap part of the CBD.
 

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Wow it really is a big giant hole in the middle of the city. Perhaps 15 levels isn't allowed because it would block the sea views of the Nelson/Hobson Street slums?
 

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Those sheds have probably been there for quite some time. The western part of the CBD was its industrial area back in the ages ago. Hence the big chimney at Victoria Park Market.
 

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Rhubarb Lane will eventually be the gateway to the Victoria Quarter project and, as part of Rikard-Bell's vision for it to become a village-like precinct where people both live and work, it will be a narrow roadway with wide, stone-paved pedestrian shoulders on either side.




How cusch!

Sounds good :)
 

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The sheds were at one point used by the City Council Works department, they moved out and in the 80's I was there as they were being used by some Theatre companies as an area to practice plays etc. New Zealand couriers had their depot in there for a while but moved on quite a while ago. As far as I am aware they have been pretty much empty for a long time now. It's great that this whole area will be developed as a unified concept rather than the piecemeal way that Hobson street has developed, it'll also bring a bit of class to this side of Auckland, and hopefully lead to a rejuvination of the area between these sheds and Victoria street West - the block that les Mills is on which currently consists of empty and derelict blocks full of carparks.
 
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