Building boom IT’S BOOM time.
Thousands of homes along with town centres and other facilities are coming on stream during the next few years.
Major developments worth millions happening around Kumeu-Huapai, Riverhead, Silverdale and Millwater, Orewa, Gulf Harbour and Warkworth will bring tens of thousands of residents to Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast.
New townships or town centres are under way at the nearby Westgate expansion in Massey North and Hobsonville, plus Millwater and Warkworth.
Supermarkets have opened or are planned, and retirement villages are expanding too.
Infrastructure such as roads, water, sewerage, gas and fibre optics are either in place or being developed for growth areas.
The developments will bring more pressure on roads, schools and some other facilities.
Several ratepayer and business representative groups are already voicing concern about increased traffic congestion and the lack of public transport.
The largest residential development in the area, Millwater, will house more than 10,000 residents with around 3500 homes planned.
Whangaparaoa and other parts of the Hibiscus Coast have pockets of development that will fulfil current demand in the area, because issues like roading, Penlink, and the lack of public transport have held growth back, Millwater marketing manager Warren Frogley says.
“We all know Hibiscus Coast is a magic spot, but even though the secret is out, people aren’t coming here in their droves yet. The traffic flow needs to be dealt with.” The upside to the growth is more jobs, from construction through to service industries and the many spin-offs such growth brings.
Sections in many of the new areas are in the $400,000-plus range, yet interest is keen with residential lots selling before earthworks are completed.
House and land packages start at $599,000.
More than half of the lots available have already sold on subdivisions around the Kumeu-Huapai and Riverhead area, for instance.
Much of the land was previously rural, orchards in many cases, with other uses including various horticultural activities, farming, equestrian and lifestyle blocks.
Interest and demand are huge, developers say. One attraction in the KumeuHuapai to Riverhead area is the closeness to Auckland city and the nearly completed western ring route motorway system linking the North Shore with West and South Auckland.
Technology is also allowing more people to work from home.
Rodney MP Mark Mitchell says Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast have the land and ability to absorb the growth Auckland is experiencing.
“It’s a beautiful area to live in with so much available for people.” Mitchell says while the development is a positive sign, investment required for the needed infrastructure is also critical.
“Schools, health facilities, roading – everything that is needed to support the growth has to be developed and brought online in the right time. I want to see new businesses coming to the area, jobs created for people here so they don’t have to travel out of the community to get to work.” The speed of development is also improving with a focus both at central and local government to streamline the resource management act and cut red tape.
Catching a ferry from Gulf Harbour to Auckland for work or study will become more appealing and practical with the number of sailings increasing to 12 a day.
People are invited to have a say on the proposed timetable for the extra sailings, which will increase at peak times and include two sailings in the middle of the day.
The increase comes after Fairway Bay developers in Gulf Harbour did a survey last year with results showing a demand for the service.
Auckland Transport wants to hear from both current and potential users if the sailing times would work for them, its public transport services manager Mark Lambert says.
Ferry operator 360 Discovery Cruises will hand out fliers for passengers and thousands of questionnaires will be mail-dropped over the next week.
A growth in passenger numbers has been noticed as the motorway system into Auckland is becoming increasingly congested, 360 Discovery Cruises manager James Bailey says.
“It’s only 50 minutes by ferry from Gulf Harbour to the city, which is a lot less than the driving time from many suburbs,” Bailey says.
The new timetable could start next month, subject to consultation.
Visit at.govt.nz/ gulfharbourferry to view the proposed timetable and give feedback.
Good news for residents and visitors to Gulf Harbour, the number of ferry sailings each day between Gulf Harbour and Auckland is increasing to 12.
During peak times sailings will increase from two to three with another two sailings each way in the middle of the day, which should appeal to workers and students alike. There are now shopping and visiting options for those not needing to travel at peak times.
Auckland Transport wants the community to get involved and for people to have their say on the proposed timetable.
Auckland Transport Group Manager Public Transport Services, Mark Lambert says this draft timetable is the result of feedback AT has received about improving services to Gulf Harbour.
“It’s important to get behind these initiatives so that we can further improve public transport options for all Auckland residents.
“We want to hear from both current and potential users if these sailing times are right for them,” says Mr Lambert.
Fairway Bay Development consultant Michael Webb-Speight says “The survey we ran last year showed huge demand for increased ferry services. We are very keen for people to get involved and have their say. These additional sailings will make a huge difference to Whangaparaoa Peninsula commuters working in the CBD.”
As part of the process ferry operator 360 Discovery Cruises will be handing out information flyers to existing ferry passengers, and thousands of questionnaires will be mail dropped over the next week with the objective of canvassing both bus and car commuters.
360 Discovery Cruises Manager, James Bailey, says strong growth in passenger numbers has already been experienced due to increasing congestion on the motorway system. “It’s only 50 minutes by ferry from Gulf Harbour to the city, which is a lot less than the driving time from many suburbs.”
The new timetable could start next month subject to consultation.
Consultation closes Sunday 29 June. To view the proposed timetable and give feedback go online to www.at.govt.nz/gulfharbourferry
Auckland Transport media release
Dancing dragons, movie markets, mid winter Christmas, petting zoo, pirate parties……the list goes on.
If you’re looking for ways to fill in the upcoming winter weekends, look no further than the Hobbs Wharf Markets at Gulf Harbour, every Sunday from 10am to 2pm.
It’s well worth a Sunday trip to the Hobbs Wharf markets and cafe as the place is quickly becoming the heart of a developing new community.
Last year the market was closed during winter as the buildings were moved down to their current location next to the beach.
This year it’s all go, and cafe/ market manager Angela Gallagher is excited about the winter and says there is something for all ages.
The colourful new buildings look fantastic next to the water and boats, with a lovely outlook over the wharf on one side, and the beach on the other.
The exquisite site is now regularly used for weddings, and is suitable for other functions and events.
Every week at the market there is something new and different going on. You just need to reguarly check their website – hobbswharf.co.nz, or Facebook.com/HobbsWharfMarket to find out what’s happening.
The range of stalls is impressive, includes delicious foods like cheese and salmon, Pukeko bakery, chinese dumplings, hot donuts, and the cafe serves classic Kiwi favourites such as bacon butties and corn fritters.
There’s also a variety of arts and crafts, fruit and vegetables and clothing stalls.
As Angela, a mother of three, rightly says, if the children are entertained, the parents are happy.
The market takes place rain or shine, as the stalls are all under-cover. Dogs are also welcome.
Vegetables from the impressive vegetable garden are used for meals in the cafe kitchen and also sold in the vegetable stall.
Planning is well underway for the new marina berths right next to the market, so people can bring their boats, park up, indulge in a coffee and peruse the markets.
Angela has planned a range of activities and entertainment for the market, and says new stall-holders are always welcome.
The cafe is also open during the week from 9am to 5pm.
Commuters can expect better ferry services between Gulf Harbour and Auckland sooner rather than later, with the announcement last week that the final hurdle, obtaining funding, is almost over.
The improved service is expected to begin towards the end of this month, with Auckland Transport (AT) and Fairway Bay developer Top Harbour ready to sign an agreement at the end of last week. The cloak of commercial sensitivity has been drawn over the details of the developer’s investment in the ferry service.
Currently ferry operator 360 Discovery/Fullers provides four sailings per day (weekdays) in and out of Gulf Harbour, and no weekend service, but numerous surveys of passengers and residents show that there is demand for more frequent sailings.
Funding had been a stumbling block to increasing the number of sailings, with AT consistently saying it could not increase the amount by which it already subsidises the service, however the Government’s introduction of a public/ private framework for procuring bus and ferry services in 2012 smoothed the way for more private investment.
The idea of the framework was toreduce public subsidy levels by allowing greater investment – public or private –in public transport services.
Top Harbour has been involved in the process since last year as improved ferry services are in its commercial interests, as well as having the potential to reduce traffic congestion on Whangaparaoa Rd.
Top Harbour’s development consultant Michael Webb-Speight is bound by confidentiality agreements, but says his company has invested in the ferry service in order to promote its residential development as “a commuter suburb”.
360 Discovery Ferry services manager James Bailey says his company has put forward its business proposals and is being kept in the loop. The proposal is for an all-day timetable of around 12 sailings per weekday – increasing themorning and afternoon sailings from two to three and providing additional sailings during the day; the proposed start date is June 29. There is no provision for weekend ferry sailings.
The public will have the opportunity to submit feedback on the proposed timetable before final changes are implemented.
All services are monitored for patronage and further issues still to be ironed out are the amount of parking available on the Hammerhead and the need for bus services to connect with the ferry.
Considering a house is probably the most valuable investment you will ever make – and a bad mistake could scar you for life – it’s highly recommended you do your homework and legwork before signing on the dotted line.
The two most common options for potential homeowners are buying or building new. For existing homeowners, renovating or extending your existing residence, or subdividing (subject to council approval) are the alternatives.
What you decide on should be based on your lifestyle, current and future requirements, budget, your borrowing capacity, stock availability, market conditions and of course the location.
Buying a home can be as simple as looking through the real estate pages of your local paper, shortlisting a few properties and finally making an offer or bid at auction. But we live in the real world where things don’t pan out as we expected. There is a lot toconsider.
“We have come a long way from 2007-08 when the market was crashing and people were afraid to get in or get out,” LJ Hooker sales manager Brett Norris says.
“The market is now moving, interest rates are likely to stay in single digits and first time buyers can still get in.”
According to Norris, the first thing buyers have to do is sit down with their broker or bank and find out how much they are able to finance.
“That will give you a realistic view of your buying power and you can then narrow down your search to neighbourhoods where your money gets mileage,” he says.
According to Fairway Bay Gulf Harbour development consultant Michael Webb-Speight, even if you have owned a house in Auckland for just five years, you should already have substantial equity.
“We are finding anyone with an average home in the inner suburbs can acquire a new house in a brand new suburb like Fairway Bay for less money than the equity in your existing home,” he says. “Moving from crowded inner suburbs to the outlying areas can translate into a better lifestyle for your family.”
Webb-Speight says in the current market, if you’re not a cash buyer, you may miss out to those who can settle immediately. Making the move to a new development can provide options for funding through the developer, which he says in many cases makes better sense.
Building your dream house offers several advantages in the long run.
When you build a home, you can have everything your way – from soft close cabinets in the kitchen to underfloor heating in the bathroom. Plus, structurally and design-wise the house will be unique.
Not only will the construction materials and building code be up to the latest safety standards, everything from wiring for highspeed internet to the latest acoustics can be added without much trouble.
There’s nothing quite like owning your brand new baby. Basically, you can create a home that reflects yourpersonality.
A house doesn’t have to be expensive to be unique. Ask around and avoid builders who are likely to give you an unrealistic estimate and then proceed to read you the fine print as construction progresses. Needless to say, such practices happen in the industry and can be traumatic for clients.
About half the cost of starting from scratch is the bare land – if you can find land in your desired area.
“Quality vacant land is hard to find,” Norris says. “Many of the available sections are already subdivided and you might find them too small to build a spacious and comfortable house.”
If you do find enough land in the sweet spot, there’s nothing like it. According to Norris, successful completion will depend on you finding a reliable and efficient project manager who can oversee everything from start to finish.
But beweare, the project manager or builder may not find your architect’s plans feasible in your budget.
While the price of land is beyond your control, you may have some leverage over building costs. According to the Department of Building and Housing’s calculator, an architecturally designed house with a floor area of 150 square metres costs on an average $298,000 to build in the Auckland area as of March 2014. At the same time, the estimated cost of a standard home is $196,650 – a tidy $100,000 difference.
Branded builders such as GJ Gardner or Jennian Homes provide a combination of architectural design and fixed price building.
Webb-Speight says GJ Gardner, who are building in Fairway Bay, have built more than 1000 homes in the Rodney District, and offerfast, efficient and cost effective solutions at a fixed price. In such cases, he says, there is often a margin for the client between their total costs and the end value of the completed home.
“A notable feature for build finance is that you can go to 90 per cent borrowing on the completed land and build package,” Senior Fellow, Financial Services Institute of Australasia Allistar Walker says.
The finance bit is usually crucial to the operation.
“A lender doesn’t want you to run out of money during the project as it jeopardises their security but at the same time they want you to keep the lid on your costs to within your debt servicing capabilities,” Walker says.
“A good broker will help you through this process, so you don’t overcook the situation, utilise the most appropriate lender, give you pointers as well as co-ordinate issues like insurance, progressive payments, stage valuations etc to make the dream a reality, rather than a nightmare.”
Another option is renovation or expansion.
Think how you feel when you rearrange the furniture in your house – does it make you feel good? If yes, then go ahead because a complete renovation will make your house look, feel and smell new – inside and out.
A major renovation can also add substantial value to your property but remember where you live makes a huge difference. Spending $100,000 on renovating in a prime coastal location makes a whole lot more sense than spending the same amount in the ‘burbs.
You also have to ask yourself if pouring cash into your current house will extend the life of the dwelling.
Before mulling this option you have to have that extra space in your section to make expansion or extension possible. Will extending that deck or adding a fourth bedroom make a mess of your courtyard or garden? Will the tradeoff of more space inside for less outside make your family happy?
It also pays to consider this – do you love your current neighbourhood – and neighbours? If the answer’s yes, then spend your money on your existing house. If the answer’s no, then think carefully.
If you tick all these boxes, then instead of making the big move, you could make the big improve.
Progress on “the Wish House” was celebrated today with a classic kiwi roof shout at Fairway Bay, Gulf Harbour.
GJ Gardner’s General Manager, Matt Lelean said at the event that “GJ’s are excited and proud to be involved in this project”. He acknowledged Windowmakers for the loan of their fabulous BBQ trailer unit in support of the function. Attended by the construction team together with guests of Make A Wish, Barfoot and Thompson, and the team from Fairway Bay, the roof shout turned into something of an impromptu street party for this fledgling community.
The “Wish House” is a collaborative charity drive involving Barfoot& Thompson, GJ Gardner and Fairway Bay developer Top Harbour Limited. The project will see a house be built by GJ Gardner over the next four months, for auction on the 8th of November 2014 by Barfoot and Thompson. All profits from the sale are going to one of New Zealand’s favourite charities, Make-A-Wish.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children aged 3-17 throughout NZ with life threatening medical conditions to bring them hope, strength and joy at a very challenging time in their lives. Make-A-Wish CEO Shane Gorst says Make-A-Wish CEO Shane Gorst says “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Fairway Bay for the second year in a row alongside Barfoot & Thompson and G J Gardener on this exciting community event. The proceeds from the Wish House will go a long way towards making wishes come true for special kiwi kids locally here on the North Shore, and all over New Zealand”
Fairway Bay CEO Sean Pan refers to his ongoing support for Make-A-Wish saying “this is our second major charity initiative with Make-A-Wish. We feel strongly that the contribute they make to the community is both relevant and valuable.”
For more information on The Wish House Project, contact:
Annabel Lush, Fundraising and Marketing Manager Annabel@makeawish.org.nz 021 738 990
Fairway Bay – Top Harbour Limited
Michael Webb-Speight, Development Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org 021610081
Barfoot and Thompson
Jeremy and Anne Thatcher, Listing Agents email@example.com 0275043040
GJ Gardner Homes – Rodney Residential Limited
Matt Lelean, General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 0278387128
It was all about Mum last Sunday for over 800 marketeers who attended the Hobbs Wharf Market at Fairway Bay.
Cafe manager Angela Gallagher said “Terrific weather and live music created the perfect backdrop for a family day out with Mum. Mums got pampered with a free coffee and professional manicures and pedicures. While Dads wandered the stalls choosing special pressies, kids were kept busy decorating pots and planting herbs creating mothers day gifts that were quite simply ‘unique’.”
Sean Pan Top Harbour CEO says “We are delighted with the atmosphere that the market creates and the family friendly environment it provides to the local community. We are looking forward to many more themed markets, fundraisers and events throughout the year, including our upcoming Gulf Harbour Primary School fundraiser on the 25th of May.”
Manly Sailing Club has been elected to host the 2014 Optimist National Champs over Easter. Over 300 sailors both will gather for the event, which has been the breeding ground of some of New Zealand’s greatest sailors, including many Olympians. It will also boost interest in the sport throughout the local community and contribute to the region’s economy.
Sponsored by Toyota and Fairway Bay, the competition will see 5 days of fleet racing just off Big Manly Beach.
Fairway Bay was a sponsor of the recent Flying Fifteen Nationals. CEO Sean Pan Says he is happy to have further involvement with the sport, as Fairway Bay itself is an excellent place for families into boating.“I would like to think in some small way we may be contributing to New Zealand’s future Olympic success.”
Olympians Jo Aleh, Olivia Powrie, Peter Burling, Paul Hansen and Susannah Pyatt are amongst famous New Zealand sailors who started in the humble optimist.
The foundations for the Fairway Bay Wish House have been poured, and building work is underway in Pinecrest Drive, Gulf Harbour.
GJ Gardner’s Managing Director Elaine Morley says notwithstanding the 130 homes she is building this year in the Rodney District, she is delighted to be involved in the project at Fairway Bay. “For us it is one of the ways that we can be giving back to the community.”
The “Wish House” is a collaborative charity drive involving Barfoot& Thompson, GJ Gardner and Fairway Bay developer Top Harbour Limited. The project will see a house be built by GJ Gardner over the next four months, for auction on 8thNovember 2014 by Barfoot and Thompson. All profitsfrom the sale are going to one of New Zealand’s favourite charities, Make-A-Wish.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children aged 3-17 throughout NZ with life threatening medical conditions to bring them hope, strength and joy at a very challenging time in their lives. Make-A-Wish CEO Shane Gorst says “We are dedicated to making every eligible child’s wish come true. With this kind of support, we will be able to grant over 200 wishes in 2014.”
Fairway Bay CEO Sean Pan refers to his ongoing support for Make-A-Wish saying “this is our second major charity initiative with Make-A-Wish. We look forward to it being a huge success and hope there are many more in the future.”
For more information on The Wish House Project, contact:
Annabel Lush, Fundraising and Marketing Manager
Annabel@makeawish.org,nz 021 738 990
Fairway Bay – Top Harbour Limited
Michael Webb-Speight, Development Consultant
Barfoot and Thompson
Jeremy and Anne Thatcher, Listing Agents
GJ Gardner Homes – Rodney Residential Limited
Matt Lelean, General Manager
Auckland’s most exciting housing development now has a Sunday that promises a fabulous day out for the entire family.
Named after the family that originally farmed the area and who gave their name to the adjacent bay, the Hobbs Wharf Market is set amid a stunning backdrop in Fairway Bay, Gulf Harbour.
A visit to discover what the fuss is all about turned out to be a rewarding and entertaining experience. Close to the marina and built around colourful shipping containers that contrast beautifully with the white shell grounds, the market is as festive as it is healthy.
There’s something for everyone. The high-quality stalls offer fresh produce(some of it grown on the premises), artisan breads, cakes, jewellery, food, pickles, preserves, cheeses, bacon, nuts, olive oils, finger food, mussel fritters, paua fritters, bacon butties, Bowen massage, pet accessories, Turkish breads dips, real American brownies, NZ gifts, quality arts and crafts, garden furniture, pies and ice cream.
The accent is on freshness and local supplies. Live music keeps things humming along, and there is plenty of children’s entertainment including a bouncy castle and jetty diving.
A mature pohutukawa by the harbour provides shelter and shade for a family picnic area. Plus, when the Fairway Bay Marina is ready, boat owners will be able to come up and park right next to the café and market.
“The market will be the hub that brings together everyone in this growing community,”market manager Angela Gallagher says.”Run by passionate people, it is a great place to meet and make friends over breakfast or brunch at the Market Café.’
Michael Webb-Speight, development consultant, Fairway Bay, says Hobbs Wharf Market is likely to see around 50,000 visitors over a 12-month period. Not bad for a market that just six months old.
The official opening of the first of 1000 homes at Fairway Bay in Gulf Harbour marked a milestone for the close to $800 million project.
It’s a four-bedroom GJ Gardner home priced around the $700,000 plus mark, the firm among four builders selected for the development. The home has stunning views of the Gulf Harbour Marina from a front room and a large deck with views across part of Gulf Harbour towards the Gulf Harbour County Club.
More than 50 people involved in the project were at the breakfast opening on March 21.
Coastal Living at its best – priced from $725,000
Today marks a significant milestone for Fairway Bay. The first of the new homes designed and built by GJ Gardner has been completed and was opened this morning during a commemorative breakfast. GJ Gardner is one of four builders selected for the Gulf Harbour development and theirs is the first of 1000 homes opening at Fairway Bay.
GJ Gardner has built more than 1000 homes in the Rodney district. “Designed by my husband Ross, this is a more architectural approach for us, and a project we’ve taken a personal involvement with,” GJ Gardner general manager Elaine Morely says. It is targeted at around the mid to late $700,000 range.
“It is very exciting to have our first home completed,” Fairway Bay chief executive Sean Pan says. “The development is gaining good momentum and we now have 10 houses underway.”
The four bedroom house on a 520 square metre section will be open for viewing from noon till 4pm daily.
North Harbour News
The regatta will be enhanced by the signing of a new sponsor in the form of “Fairway Bay”. Fairway Bay is a new residential development by the “Top Harbour” company on the beautiful land to the east of Gulf Harbour Marina at the eastern end of Whangaparaoa Peninsula.
GHYC is thankful to have been able to form this new and mutually beneficial relationship with “Fairway Bay” in a two part agreement that includes assistance in funding the International Optimist Class Nationals at Manly Sailing Club the following month in April.
The Fairway Bay development offers the very best in coastal living and is surrounded by abundant leisure time activities provided by the Gulf Harbour Marina, the Gulf Harbour Village and the internationally famous Gulf Harbour Country Club. The Hobbs Wharf Marina Basin is an important focal point in the development and is the “Jewel in the Crown” of Fairway Bay.
Already more than twenty young sailors have learned to sail Optimist Dinghies in the safety of the basin following the Yachting New Zealand syllabus as presented by GHYC. This fantastic sponsorship may well be the start of a long and fruitful relationship with the sport of sailing.
Groundswell for much-needed Penlink road builds on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula
IMAGINE TRAFFIC on the only route to and from town being so bad due to an accident that you have to drive on the footpath and wrong side of the road to get your injured child to hospital.
That was a very real scenario for Manly resident Jill Good, who believes the Penlink road is needed to ease congestion and provide an alternative route to and from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. “In the end I had to drive on the wrong side of the road until I could get her to the A and E. It wasn’t very pleasant,” she says.
And Mrs Good is not alone – more than 92 per cent of those who answered the Fairway Bay-sponsored Penlink Questionnaire agree the road needs to be built soon.
The survey was sponsored by Fairway Bay, a new residential subdivision at Gulf Harbour. CEO Sean Pan says that connectivity to the city is a key factor in many home buyers’ decision making process. “Penlink will make a huge difference to all residents on the Peninsula – not just those who wish to live at Gulf Harbour”
In the evening, queues stretch as far down as the motorway. Auckland Transport says having traffic queuing on the motorway is dangerous as it increases the likelihood of a crash.
Mrs Good not the only one calling for Penlink to be built sooner rather than later.
Of the 1045 people who have filled out Fairway Bay’s Penlink Questionnaire so far, 92.23 per cent believe Penlink is needed.
Almost 90 per cent of the 381 people who answered the PPP section of the survey supported Penlink being built under that model.
Hibiscus and Bays local board member Janet Fitzgerald, who has been campaigning for Penlink for 20 years, says the survey is proof that the road needs to be built.
“We have only one access on and off the Peninsula. As the Auckland Council allows more and more homes to be built there, Whangaparaoa Road is getting busier and busier.”
Not only were accidents a concern but roadworks along that arterial route have also been known to cause delays of up to an hour and a half, she says.
If you are concerned about traffic congestion on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, please fill out the Penlink Questionnaire at www.fairwaybay.co.nz/penlink
FAIRWAY BAY’S PENLINK QUESTIONNAIRE: BY THE NUMBERS
Ninety per cent felt Penlink would help alleviate congestion problems on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula during peak-hour traffic better than widening the existing arterial route.
A little more than 54 per felt the current traffic situation in the region was not acceptable.
Nearly 48 per cent travelled to Albany or further south on a daily basis, while 22.83 per cent travelled several times a week and 21.09 per cent once a week.
More than 95 per cent of respondents did so by car.
Close to 39 per cent would be happy to pay up to $2 to use Penlink and more than 22 per cent $1 if the road was tolled.
Titles for the first stage of the Fairway Bay Development were issued yesterday.
Fairway Bay is located between the Gulf Harbour Country Club and the Gulf Harbour Marina on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.
Sean Pan, Fairway Bay CEO, is pleased with the progress saying, “Earthworks commenced less than a year ago so it is very exciting to reach this milestone. I am extremely happy with the team, contractors and builders involved. I would also like to acknowledge the support from Auckland Council who have been very helpful with the many consents needed so far to achieve the development.”
17 lots have been sold to date with 9 houses already in the consent or construction phase. The first homes are due for completion as early as March.
Four leading quality builders: Landmark, Jennian, G.J. Gardner and Sentinel are currently active on site offering various House and Land Packages priced from $725,000.
The Hobbs Wharf Market every Sunday at Fairway Bay is proving popular with locals attracting around 1,000 people per week. The Market café is now open 7 days.
An application within Auckland Transport is in place for 12 ferry sailings a day with approval to be confirmed in February. Mr Pan says that with the increased ferry services due to start in March, Fairway Bay is a great location for CBD commuters looking to avoid the traffic.
Top Harbour’s development consultant Michael Webb-Speight says analysis of the more than 600 responses to its survey showed demand for better services from a wide range of people, including those who currently use the bus only because the ferry timetable is limited to four sailings per day (weekdays), as well as young families and current ferry users.
Mr Webb-Speight says Auckland Transport is working on a business plan with ferry operator Fullers that could see 12 sailings a day introduced on the route by next March, subject to the approval of the business plan by Auckland Transport’s board, and appropriate funding.
He says Auckland Transport anticipates a growth rate of 20 percent per annum on the service if more sailings are introduced.
Both the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Mayor Len Brown acknowledge that there have been preliminary discussions about including Penlink in the contract to be let for the Puhoi to Warkworth extension.
It is anticipated that this contract could be let before the next General Election, which may be held as early as September next year.
Mayor Len Brown says recent discussions with central Government indicate that the contract for the Puhoi-Warkworth extension and Penlink could be combined.
“It would be logical to get two for the price of one, in a PPP,” the Mayor says. “It’s early days, but the response so far has been positive and I’m supportive of the direction it’s going in.”
NZ Transport Agency’s regional director for Auckland and Northland, Stephen Town, says an appropriate business case is vital if the Transport Agency is to become involved. Mr Town says it is important to note that while no decisions have been made at this time, the Transport Agency is considering a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the Puhoi to Warkworth extension, and possibly procuring Penlink in the same contact.
There has been a lot of activity behind the scenes related to Penlink since the Auckland Transport board received the updated business case for the project last month but the CCO remains tight lipped saying only that the board will discuss Penlink again early next year.
Hibiscus Matters understands that the board is seeking more information in the interim.
The updated business case is crucial, whether the road is to be built via a PPP or not. A plan entitled ‘Penlink Preferred layout’ prepared by Auckland Transport indicates that the CCO is favouring the option of a four-lane road, which is estimated to cost $200-$250 million. Currently, Auckland Transport’s 10 Year Plan includes around $28 million for the toll road, budgeted for 2021/22, with $10.5 million spread over the 2018-21 period.
Meanwhile a notice put up recently on Auckland Transport’s ‘Request for Proposal’, which seeks “to award a contract for supply of Planning Professional Services to implement the Penlink Planning Strategy to successfully complete an alteration to the designation and obtain all required consents”, closes on December 18.
However Hibiscus & Bays Local Board member, and Penlink Now campaigner Janet Fitzgerald says the messages coming from Auckland Transport are confusing.
She says while on the one hand there have been signs of greater impetus behind Penlink, a recent email to the Local Board indicated the CCO may want to stick with the original start date of 2021 that it has budgeted for.
The Local Board is meeting Auckland Transport this week to seek clarification.
The Fairway Bay development in Gulf Harbour has been spearheading this campaign, by collecting survey information through a variety of channels to determine whether there is demand for more sailings in Gulf Harbour.
Development Consultant Michael Webb-Speight says that over 600 responses Ferry Survey have been received by Fairway Bay, which has been published in newspapers, online and handed out on public transport and at the Hobbs Wharf Markets.
“The results have shown a very clear trend giving firm evidence to Auckland Transport that the increased service would be viable. Auckland Transport now has the data they need to put together the business case for more Gulf Harbour ferry sailings.”
Once complete this business case will be put forward to the Auckland Transport board and NZTA for approval.
CEO Sean Pan is happy to see real progress being made in this area. “Every person commuting by ferry means one less car on the road, and this is good for all commuters – especially anyone travelling on the rush hour Whangaparaoa Peninsula route.”
If you’d like to have your say the questionnaire is available online at www.fairwaybay.co.nz.
Relaxing outside the cafe at Hobbs Wharf, looking at the big blue sky, the yachts at anchor and sparkle of sun on the water, you appreciate the wonder of Gulf Harbour.
Michael Webb-Speight is the development consultant to Top Harbour Limited, developer of the stretch of land between the marina and Gulf Harbour Country Club. Michael says it’s the ex-pats who sum it up best. ‘‘They look at all this and ask the obvious question, ‘Why would you want to live anywhere else in Auckland?’’’
Michael’s grand project is Fairway Bay, first stage of a high quality 31 hectare housing development designed to face both the marina and the golf course. This is magnificent land for building, nicely elevated, well drained and mostly north-facing with stunning views. It encompasses the ridge, headland, waterfront and harbour positions.
The promotion of Fairway Bay has been carefully planned, with the establishment of a popular Sunday market, a seven-day cafe, jetty and pontoons, along with numerous community events preceding the first release of land. Shades of Field of Dreams and ‘if you build it they will come’ perhaps, but it’s working – the Sunday market is averaging 900 visitors per week, and 3500 turned up for a recent Halloween event!
‘‘It’s all about building a community,’’ Michael says. ‘‘Fairway Bay owners will have a stake in communal facilities such as a club pavilion, 18-metre swimming pool, and tennis court. They’ll have a say in the management of common areas and the general integrity of the development.’’
Top Harbourhave also done their homework in terms of infrastructure. High on the list has been the petitioning of city authorities and ferry operators about increasing the ferry sailings to the Auckland CBD, with the aim of making it as commutable as Beachlands’ Pine Harbour.
Four building companies were invited to build showhomes at Fairway Bay. All four companies – GJ Gardner, Jennian, Landmark and Sentinel Homes – have taken up the option, as well as the purchase of four lots each. The Mayor poured the first slab for the GJ Gardner showhome, and even at this early stage 18 of the first 36 lots have been sold.
Each stage has been planned with a certain style of housing in mind, in respect to the land contours, space and the demands of the market. Property sizes range from townhouse lots to 3500 square metres for the headland sections with harbour and gulf views.
Michael says interest is widespread: from North Shore families eyeing the less-pressured lifestyle and the decile 10 schools; ex-pats returning to what they see as simply a beautiful place; and couples wanting to put up the ‘gone fishing’ sign.
‘‘We’re building now,’’ Michael says. Behind that statement is the suggestion that perhaps what is being built here is a great new community.