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Design looks pretty good. The location demands something with reasonable height (but not too much)so it seems to be a good outcome in that sense. I just hope that they activate the ground floor with retail, etc to keep interest at street level.
 

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Isn't there some kind of market currently next to the rialto. I wonder what will happen to that. Will they move or just close down.
 

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Isn't there some kind of market currently next to the rialto. I wonder what will happen to that. Will they move or just close down.
If they do shift, where would be most suitable? Cuba St, perhaps? Or there could be scope for outdoor stalls near Waitangi/Chaffers Park?

In regards to the news article on the Watermark, what the Duxton needs is a facelift, even if it has to take a prod or two with a wrecker ball.
 

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Supa News for Wellington .... Class sells Fast LOL

$30m of apartments snapped up in four days :banana: 04 November 2006

Wellingtonians have snapped up about $30 million of apartments in one central-city complex in four days.


The buy-up comes as a penthouse in a planned new block, also in Wellington, is poised to sell for $11 million, a national record.

Fifty-four apartments in the new Chews Lane precinct, between Willis and Victoria streets, were put on sale on Thursday, October 12.

By the Sunday they had all sold – for between $400,000 and $1.5 million – in what agent Nicholas Reeve of Re/Max Real Estate said was the fastest sellout the company had seen.

Eight more apartments will be sold by closed tender. In a sign the inner- city residential market is continuing to boom, a long-planned $170 million luxury apartment complex was also unveiled yesterday.

Construction is not due to begin on the 12-storey Watermark Tower – which will occupy the triangular block between Jervois Quay, Cable St and Taranaki St – till next year, but negotiations are under way to sell its premier unit for more than twice Wellington's previous record.

Donald Stott, of developer Land Equity Group, said he was in the final stages of negotiations with "an international buyer" over the penthouse apartment, which has a price tag of about $11 million.

"This probably sets a New Zealand record," he said.

According to Quotable Value, the most expensive residence sold since 2000 was a $10.8 million property in the Auckland suburb of Remuera in June 2002.

Wellington's top sale was a $5 million property in Oriental Bay's Telford Tce this July.

The 750sq m penthouse is intended to set the high-water mark for apartments in the capital. It will include: an 11-metre in-ground swimming pool; four bedrooms, all with ensuites; guest suite; separate one- bedroom studio apartment; wine cellar; climate-controlled balcony; and four-car garage.

The complex will boast 55 apartments – selling for between $850,000 and $6 million – 25m indoor pool, outdoor roof garden, full gym and day spa, boutique hotel, retail outlets, and high-end restaurant.

Residents will have access to a full concierge service.

Mr Stott said the development would be worth $170 million when completed. Construction is due to begin mid-2007 and to finish mid-2010.

It is planned for the site now occupied by the Wellington Markets and will incorporate the heritage-listed John Chambers building.

The apartments officially go on sale next February, but some private sales will be conducted from Monday. :cheers:
 

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Hello everyone... havent been here for a while now... nice to see some more Wellington people here too

Wellington is looking good for some nice new buildings too :cheers:
 

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Maritime Building

Well the crane has gone, and she is looking fine too... I still think another 10 levels would have looked heaps better though... but no worries she is a damn fine building :cheers:

 

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Beaut Photo MTB ......

Hello everyone... havent been here for a while now... nice to see some more Wellington people here too

Wellington is looking good for some nice new buildings too :cheers:
Where the Hell have you been ........ Spankies from Nana LOL:eek:hno:
 

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The Maritime Tower is looking good... I recently sold a computer to a consultant for the Maritime's developers, and he told me that AMP is planning a building within the next several years where the Shell station currently is.

Anyone catch the Weekend Post's feature story on Wellington's apartment boom?
 

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Some news regarding the new Supreme Court of NZ

Architects balk at 'banal' court design

15 November 2006
The DomPost


An architecture lecturer says a "banal" proposal for the new $40 million Supreme Court building should have been offered to overseas firms and a student could have done better.


"I would not have been happy with this if one of our final-year students designed it," Victoria University senior lecturer Mark Taylor said.
"I think they should not get away with doing a building that is that banal."
The building is planned for a park site in Wellington's Lambton Quay. The park has been closed for more than a month for site-testing.
An application starting the public notification process to designate the site is expected to be filed early next month.

Mr Taylor and associate professor Russell Walden said the project should have been put out to international tender without the "angst" that foreigners don't understand New Zealand. Native architects and conservators did not understand the lie of this land either, they said.
The two architects say the Warren and Mahoney proposal, costed at $40 million for the Supreme Court, and rising to $65.1 million to include restoring an adjacent 1881 building, was not good architecture.
But Warren and Mahoney director Roy Wilson said the Justice Ministry, various departments and the Cabinet were satisfied that it met a restriction on what could be done to the old High Court building. Judges were also happy with it, he said.

He dismissed the idea of using overseas architects. "I think as a nation we have to stand up and express our identity, or you finish up with a building that is just like everywhere else."

The firm also designed Westpac Stadium, which Mr Wilson said was world-class. The firm is giving advice on plans for a stadium in Auckland to host the Rugby World Cup.

Warren and Mahoney was picked from firms that registered an interest in the court project about four years ago. Its design is still being finalised.
The proposal is for a copper- clad, egg-shaped courtroom sitting inside a two-storeyed, glass- walled building with a bronze screen surrounding the top floor.

Mr Taylor and Mr Walden said a valuable park on Lambton Quay would be lost in order to insist on a formal geometry that added little to its surroundings or made sense of local conditions and urban scale.
Mr Taylor said the screen around the top floor was appalling.
"Really, there is no other word for it."

As well as not looking good, it would not achieve its purpose of helping to control the climate of the building, he said. It wrapped around the building without taking account of the sun's path.
 

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I like the design. I also love how these architecture lecturers always come out and start whining whenever they don't like something like their opinion is the only one that counts
 

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The jury's still out on the Supreme Court building, I'm not fussed either way.

If anyone's wondering what's up with The Palliser Apartments in Cambridge Tce, it's been delayed because the building that's going to be renovated has been found to be structurally unsound. I saw the building inspector's notice on the front door yesterday. Best if dealt with now rather than later.

I finally have the Weekend Post article I mentioned:

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Copyright Independent Newspapers, Ltd. Nov 11, 2006

Many mum and dad investors were burned in the shoebox apartment boom but the popularity of inner-city living shows no sign of slowing. Now, a new era of apartments is taking shape. They're bigger, some cost millions and there is no shortage of buyers. Nick Venter reports.

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TWO-and-a-half years ago Jane Davis was living in a big house on a big section in Palmerston North. Today she's living in an old shoe factory in inner-city Wellington with just a few potted plants to remind her of her former pride and joy -- her garden of native plants and camellia trees. She wouldn't change a thing. Jane and her partner Brian are part of the new breed of city dwellers who have swapped lawn-mowing and house-painting for the joys of walking to work, drinking coffee in cafes and strolling along the waterfront. They have transformed the capital.

Fifteen years ago just a few hundred people resided in the city. Today about 12,000 people live in the inner city and new apartment buildings are sprouting as fast as developers can get approval to build them.

Why wouldn't they? Ian Cassels, the pioneering developer who turned the Hannah's shoe factory into the apartment block in which Jane and Brian now live, says there is no commercial office building in town that couldn't at the moment be profitably converted "because the price difference is so big".

"To put it into perspective, an office building is worth around $3000 a metre, a newish apartment is anywhere from $7000 to $11,000 or $12,000 and Donald Stott (the developer of Wellington's most expensive project) is up to $17,000 a metre."

Those already in the city live mostly in converted warehouses, commercial buildings, factories and rooftop apartments that have been added to existing buildings. But a new wave of interest is being generated by the development of upmarket, purpose-built apartments.

Last month 54 apartments in a yet-to-be-built complex between Willis and Victoria streets were snapped up in just four days for about $30 million, prompting mutterings that the units were bought by real estate agents who had the inside running. But that is an "absolute fallacy", says Nicholas Reeve of Re/Max Real Estate, who credits their rapid sale to their location and the reputation of developer Willis Bond. The company, headed by Mark McGuinness, has held back a further 40 apartments in the Chews Lane complex for later sale and is in the early stages of developing another major apartment complex on the site of the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Elsewhere in Wellington, Phil Stratford has been given approval to build 68 apartments at 151 Willis St, and work is continuing on 66 apartments in the former Herd St Post and Telegraph Building that will be known as Chaffers Dock Apartments, and Terry Serepisos's Century City complex in Tory St. Across the road from Te Papa, 36 apartments in the Portal complex have been sold for between $680,000 and $850,000, and construction is due to begin next year on Mr Stott's 12-storey Watermark Tower, which will include 55 apartments.

The prices are rising even faster than the new apartment blocks.

Two-and-a-half years ago the biggest of the three penthouses atop Chaffers Dock sold off the plans for nearly $3 million, eclipsing the previous record price for a Wellington apartment by more than $1 million. Fourteen months later the 535-square-metre apartment resold for $3.5 million.

Now Mr Stott says he is in the final stage of negotiations with an international buyer to sell the tower's 750sq m penthouse for $11.5 million, the highest price paid for a residential property in New Zealand.

The Wellington boom is in stark contrast to Auckland, where developers are continuing to churn out "shoebox" apartments, some as small as 13sq m, for overseas students who may never arrive, because investors have already put up the money for their construction. But the apartment scene is of a very different character to that in Wellington.

That is because two-thirds of Wellington apartments are occupied by their owners, who have chosen to live in the city for lifestyle reasons. Three-quarters of Auckland apartments are investment properties.

In Wellington the boom has made multi-millionaires of the young developers who seized the opportunity to buy cheap buildings when the bottom fell out of the commercial property market after the 1987 sharemarket crash.

It has also insulated the city against the potential fallout from head office drift to Auckland.

The Terrace, where retail outlets were once prohibited, is dotted with cafes. Cuba St and Courtenay Place are alive at night, and retail rents in Lambton Quay are the highest they've ever been.

WELLINGTON City Council planning and urban design director Ernst Zollner says the apartment boom has been fuelled by three things: the scrapping in the early 1990s of the zoning regulations that made it almost impossible to build residential accommodation in the city, the council's equally bold decision to allow developers to build apartments without car parks if they wanted to take the risk, and the success in local body elections of mayoral candidates who walk to the council chambers.

The first made apartment developments possible, the second allowed developers to convert "sad old office buildings" that would otherwise have remained empty into student accommodation and the third created pro-urban councils willing to invest in amenities for inner-city dwellers.

The council hasn't got everything right, he says. It should have insisted on strict noise rules right from the start, but only did so two years ago. "Unfortunately that means we had a decade of conversions and new apartments where they don't have sufficient insulation. We really should have said double glazing from the word go."

But it got enough right to reinvigorate the city. As an example of what could have happened if the council hadn't been so bold he points to Christchurch, which retained a more conservative approach to planning.

"Statistically their office vacancy rate is five times higher than ours. The problem is not the new buildings, it's those old C and D-grade office buildings that they can't convert, which we could. If a fifth of your cbd is standing empty, that's quite sad and it creates a negative sentiment as well."

In Wellington, retailers have been among the biggest winners from the apartment boom.

"An apartment dweller spends eight times more in the cbd than an office dweller does and that's why retail has expanded even though we've had corporates leave town," says Mr Zollner. "Money now lives on top of the shop and it comes down the lift and it buys."

The apartment boom has been good for developers and good for the city but it has not been good for all apartment owners.

Ian Mitchell, head of research at property services company DTZ, says house values in the Wellington City Council's boundaries have risen 149 per cent over the past 10 years. Over the same period inner-city apartment values have increased just 30 per cent.

Valuer Nigel Lockwood of Lockwood and Associates says there is now a clear differentiation between the performance of high-quality apartments in good locations and former commercial buildings on The Terrace, Te Aro flat and the central city that were converted into one and two-bedroom apartments for students and sold to mum and dad investors with guaranteed rental incomes.

"The earlier, cheaper-quality conversions in particular have not stood the test of time . . . People who bought into that market in the mid to late 90s riding the start of the apartment boom will have probably lost money," he says.

"If you're offered an apartment with 7 to 8 per cent returns guaranteed for three years and the rent's $400 for a one- bedroom apartment, you think 'great'. (But) what you should know is that the actual rent is only $250 a week and the developer is topping it up by $150 and writing off the top-up as a loss.

"He might lose $10,000 or $15,000 but he's selling for $40,000 or $50,000 over the market.

"When he walks away and the owners find they can only get $250, they get really disenchanted because that's not covering the outgoings because they've normally geared up to buy and they've got body corporate fees and rates on top of that. When they sell they find that they've pretty much lost their equity and they may have lost more."

However, Mr Lockwood says the value of quality apartments close to the waterfront is keeping pace with the value of residential homes of similar quality in the suburbs. "Superior homes in Wellington have been the best-performing segment in the Wellington market over the last three to four years. Superior apartments have performed just as well."

He sees no reason for the trend to falter. "As long as you have got a quality apartment in the right location, ie close to the waterfront, or on the waterfront, then you will be in good shape."

THOSE who have moved into the city over the past 15 years fall mainly into three categories: the young (often students), empty nesters (those without children), and older people whose kids long ago left home.

"Breeders" -- those with children -- are choosing to stay in the suburbs, though Mr Zollner, who grew up on the third floor of an apartment building near Munich, believes Wellington families, like their European and Asian counterparts, will eventually come to accept apartment living as perfectly normal.

He shares his Cuba St apartment with his 10-year-old daughter and says the lack of a section is not an issue.

"We play tennis at the Renouf Centre, throw a ball at Wellington High, scoot along the waterfront and swim at Oriental Bay and I don't have to mow lawns. It's perfect.

" I had a lifestyle block in the Wairarapa and I have done enough gardening to last me two decades."

Jane Davis agrees. She regrets not being able to go out into the garden to snip herbs for dinner, but that's her only regret about living in the city.

Her view is limited by another apartment building in the Hannah's complex but big windows flood the apartment with sunlight.

The brick and concrete block walls, exposed beams and wooden floors, from which shoe tacks occasionally emerge, give the apartment a unique feel and the city's attractions are just a short walk away.

"I don't think I would ever move to the suburbs of Wellington," she says.

"A three to four-minute walk to work is just amazing and we have so much time to do things even in the weekends because we are not doing maintenance or gardening."

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[Illustration]
Caption: Here to stay: Jane Davis soaks up the sun in the converted shoe factory in Wellington city that has become her home. Pictures: ANDREW GORRIE Made to last: The Hannah's shoe factory, which has been converted into apartments. Building boom: Clockwise from top, the Portal across the road from Te Papa; the Rialto building on Cable Street, soon to be the site of Wellington's most expensive apartment development, the Watermark Tower; and the Chaffers Dock Apartments nearing completion.
 

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It's interesting that they picked the Hannahs Factory as an example of the "new era" of apartment living. I lived there eight years ago!
 

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It's interesting that they picked the Hannahs Factory as an example of the "new era" of apartment living. I lived there eight years ago!
Even if it's not a new development, it does seem to fit in with the 'new'. The main thing is, it's certainly not an Auckland-esque shoebox brick.
 

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Some disappointing news in this mornings Dominion Post. It seems as though Wellingtons long awaited ice skating rink has been ditched by the developer.
 

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The can't do that. I love ice skating and this rink would have one of the things I'd sample next time in Wellington.

:bash: :bash: :bash:
 
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