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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A new $125m development of 152 terraced townhouses to be built on a large site on Taranaki Street.

The site is currently utilised as a car dealership and has been associated with the Ford Motor company for nearly a century, despite this rich history the developers, Mark Dunajtschik and Thames Pacific, have wiped the slate clean and have chosen the name The Paddington inspired by the Victorian terraces of its namesake in Sydney.

Indeed, this is how one advertisement put it: "a new, unique-to-New Zealand, living complex reminiscent of the golden years of inner-city living, the Victorian era". So either someone hasn't done their history homework or perhaps we can expect the reemergence of slums, opium dens, typhoid and cholera.

Another ad states that 35 units are under conditional offer.

Resource consent has been applied for and construction is advertised as beginning in November this year and completion is slated for mid-2021.

One of the most marketable features of this development is the fact that the units are being sold freehold with no body corporate fees, however, one of the greatest downfalls is the fact that there is no residential parking (it's likely that the past use of this site as heavy-industrial has made excavation prohibitively expensive). And while this doesn't bother me, it'll be interesting to see just how many people will spend a million dollars on a place without a car park.

Considering these are in the premium band of residential developments currently on offer in the city (well the price is at least), I wonder if having no car parking might just be the undoing of this development considering there's a nice new base-isolated building with plentiful views and plentiful car parks being built just up the road - and with a lower price tag to boot.

One of the many regrettable elements of this development is that there looks to be little "street activation" on either Taranaki, Jessie, or Ebor Streets. On Taranaki and Jessie Streets, there are rows of dual-key houses with their front doors right on the to the footpath. These are being advertised as having the capability of having either residential or commercial purposes on the ground floor and residential on the first floor - in practice I'm sure this will mean that there is next to no street activation on Taranaki Street as most will remain residential (or Airbnb).

The development is also quite unvaried in height and design and this is most obvious from every street frontage.

The laneways that intersect the development will be largely private. In the consent information, mention is made of having a publicly accessible pedestrian route running from Ebor Street to Taranaki Street, however, this is dependent on the agreement of the neighbouring apartment dwellers (in Sanctum) to allow the wall currently blocking access from Ebor Street to be removed. Even in this instance, public access is not guaranteed in the consent.

Despite its dubious merit, I think it's probable that this development will be given the green light and will sell well, therefore, I guess we'll just have to live with it, but hopefully developments on Taranaki Street and vicinity in the future can be steered away from following this example.

The architects are an Australian firm called A+ Design Group - who have hundreds of projects on their cards, but none of which seem to have been built (and I'll hold out hope).

The website: https://the-paddington.co.nz/

Some renders:








 

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Similar to Sydney's Paddington in name alone.

My biggest gripe with this project is not that they are terrace houses, in fact it's great to have a bit of variety in the housing available in Wellington.

It's that these just have a very pedestrian, bland design that is already out dated and wouldn't look out of place as a highway-adjacent, 3 star motel somewhere in Hamilton (sorry, but it's true).

To reinforce my point, look at the wonderful example that Christchurch has set with the Latimer Terraces:



Anyway, enough negativity. Thanks again for another detailed post, Solom12 :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
^^

I agree, terraces done well can be a good alternative to the apartment building especially on smaller sites in the city where they are effectively infill (such as the proposed one on Knigges Ave). And on this large site I think terraces could work if there were also higher density buildings in the mix - i.e. terraces mixed with small and medium sized apartment buildings. Or failing that at least terraces with architectural interest and merit - differing heights, forms, orientations, etc.

And indeed I also agree that the architecture of this development is particularly boring and unvaried - especially when viewed from the street, which from Taranaki is an almost unbroken row of flat-roofed units with no obvious delineation between unit so essentially it all looks like one long building. Compare the Taranaki Street elevation with that photo you shared from Christchurch, which is Warren and Mahoney I think, the difference is stark - there's so much more elegance and interest in the Christchurch example with its pitched roofs, balconies, and clear delineation between units than the very pedestrian, boxy development it looks like we're going to get.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
An article about increased housing consents in Wellington:https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12229484

All very general, but there's a bit in it about changing the district plan to allow for more density:

Meanwhile in the CBD, it could include the ability for the council to mandate density levels.
Then this interesting paragraph:

"At the moment we've got a couple of projects that we know about in the Te Aro area which quite frankly are not going to be utilising the land as intensely as it needs to be if we're going to get to the number of houses we need for the future, and there's nothing the council can do about it under the current settings."
Obviously one of these projects has got to be Paddington though it's a shame they can't do anything about it, as we probably expected anyway.
 

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^^ Hopefully the change would at least ensure that Paddington will the exception and not the norm. And I’m still hoping that no one will buy them :cheers:
 

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Well the knives are well and truly out now..

Some Wellington city councillors are aghast that what they call a 'waste of space' inner-city development will probably get approval, and they can do nothing to stop it.
.....
The city councillor with the housing portfolio, Brian Dawson, said more people need to live on those prime, inner-city blocks.

"It's disappointing for me because we all know we've got very limited amount of land, particularly in the CBD and it's a shame we can't maximise what we've got. While all new housing you could say is good housing, at the end of the day we could get a lot more in that space," Mr Dawson said.
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"We could [house] twice as many at least if it was high rise and that's the issue, we've got limited land in the CBD and this being the part of town that most people want to live, we need to be thinking far more lofty," he said.
....
Central city councillor Nicola Young said that was a shame because the development was a "waste of space".

In this case, the district plan had left the council and councillors impotent, she said. That is why the council wanted residents to have their say on how to plan for growth as it gets ready to revise its district plan, which governs requirements such as building heights and density.

"We need to have more power in the district plan. We have maximum heights but we don't have minimum heights. We need a rule for minimum heights [in the central city]," Ms Young said.

Nevertheless, changing the district plan could take as long as a decade based on past experience.
...
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/389599/council-powerless-to-stop-waste-of-space-housing-development
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I thought maybe they'd prove difficult to sell considering they are in the premium band of apartments and don't include a car park, but I appear to be wrong: there was an ad in this weekend's paper and it said 72 (so roughly half) had been put under offer already.

As for whether it will pass through the consents office, as Councillor Dawson suggested in that article, it's very difficult to turn down a consent if it's all technically above board (remember this). Though I do think there are several aspects of the development that appear to be at variance with the regulations - such as the Taranaki Street rows and how close they are to the street.

Even though it seems counter-intuitive, I think the fact that this site is so large actually made the low density development possible - if it had been half the size, a low density scheme probably wouldn't have been feasible. The good news is that there are few sites in the city that are so large and so hopefully that will naturally advantage higher density developments.
 

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I dunno. It feels like a win to me. There's a lot of low rise stuff around there and this will be one less car yard which can only be a huge win. And it's such a large site - it wasn't realistic that this was going to be a giant tall building or something. Ebor St is pretty cool - I reckon it will all add to the area in a good way. My only gripe is the loss of the NZ on Screen heritage building. Why couldn't the developers have left that as part of the site - it would have really woven into the fabric
 

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I dunno. It feels like a win to me. There's a lot of low rise stuff around there and this will be one less car yard which can only be a huge win. And it's such a large site - it wasn't realistic that this was going to be a giant tall building or something. Ebor St is pretty cool - I reckon it will all add to the area in a good way.
If Taranaki St was humanized a bit, this would fit in better.

LRT/BRT up the middle, cycle lanes, more trees....its the fact that these would sit on what is now a defacto inner-city motorway that makes things seem not quite right.

There are taller residences going up in the vicinity and there will be plenty more in future too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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Discussion Starter #14
And I see they’re on the Design Group Stapleton Elliot website now so they must’ve been the architects as well
 

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Ah well. I hope the Council's reaction to this project will make other developers be a little more proactive in its densification of the city.
 
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