Approaching the Halfway Point

Sep 14 2018 Development

The provision of public spaces is keeping pace with residential construction as Hobsonville Point continues to grow in size.

Seven years on from the completion of the very first house in 2011, Hobsonville Point is now home to 1500 dwellings with a further 650 under construction. With about 4500 planned in total for the township, construction of which is scheduled to finish around 2024, development of the area is nearing halfway.

“There are certainly plenty of options available no matter what you’re looking for in your new home,” says Caroline McDowall, the Precinct Director of HLC which is leading the Point’s development. “From apartments, terraced houses and duplexes right through to standalone homes, the township is definitely emerging as a vibrant and varied place to live.”

And it’s a place that is increasingly punctuated with a growing range of public spaces and amenities, delighting those who call the Point home as well as visitors from further afield.

One of the key attractions is Hobsonville Point’s coastal walkway, a ring route that hugs the shore and is peppered with points of interest. The majority of the walkway, including a stunning over-water boardwalk, is already open and the remaining section should be ready for use by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Catalina Bay now boasts Fabric Café Bistro and the Catalina Bay Farmers Market, with boutique micro-brewery Little Creatures expected to open in the bay’s Sunderland Hangar in early 2019. Work also continues on the Sunderland Lounge which, once restored, will be available for hire as a community space alongside the recently refurbished Headquarters Building known as The Hub.

“When it started, Hobsonville Point was pushing the boundaries of density at the time but the Unitary Plan has been enabling alongside a shift in people’s understanding of master-planned communities,” says Caroline. “As Hobsonville Point is showing, when they’re master-planned with the appropriate level of amenity, then they really are successful. Seven years on I think we can say that the Point delivers above and beyond the expectations of those early days.”

A Family Affair

Hobsonville Point’s latest eatery, Fabric, has made itself at home as has the family behind the fare.

But it’s a new beginning that almost didn’t happen, says Melissa Shore, who owns and operates the new café bistro in Hobsonville Point’s Catalina Bay with husband Luke.

The couple and their family lived in Auckland’s Stonefields when they heard about the unique waterfront dining opportunity awaiting development at the Point. But with two young kids in tow there were no plans to open a restaurant and in fact the Shores, who have extensive hospitality backgrounds, had ruled it out of their future.

“But then we saw the site,” recalls Melissa. “And straight away, we knew it was something we believed in. We realised that this was an opportunity to do something incredible for our family.”

After a furious few days pulling together a business case, the couple pitched their ideas to Catalina Bay developers, Willis Bond & Co, who shared the exciting vision for the seaside location.

As plans for Fabric progressed, the couple sold their house and moved their family to Hobsonville Point, cementing their connection to their new community.

“We genuinely love it,” says Melissa of the area the Shores now call home. “The community spirit and feel, and the way everyone comes together and identifies as Hobsonville Point people, is really wonderful. I’ve never lived anywhere with this kind of vibe before. Luke grew up in a place where he knew everyone on the street and I think it’s really nice for him to be here with that kind of feel too.”

And just as the Shores have had a warm welcome from their new neighbours, so too Fabric is proving popular since its June 14 opening. Not only is it garnering a growing group of regulars, the latest addition to Auckland’s restaurant scene is also attracting attention from further afield.

Unusually the concept for the family-friendly eatery has been developed in response to its location, nestled alongside the calm reaches of the Upper Harbour and enjoying spectacular sea views. For those willing to leave the relaxing and attractive interior, a sun-drenched deck extends over the water offering diners a rare opportunity to enjoy the natural environment alongside their meal.

The menu, meanwhile, has been developed by chef Kei Suzaki whose illustrious CV includes stints at Ostro and Queenstown’s Rata.

“He has a strong identity of what he wants to cook and he’s worked with an Executive Chef in his most recent role so I was happy trusting him and giving him autonomy,” Melissa says. “He’s brilliant - we’re so lucky to have him.”

Alongside a mouth-watering meal, a visit to Fabric also opens up other possibilities with the boardwalk section of Hobsonville Point’s coastal walkway lying literally at Fabric’s doorstep and the bustling Catalina Bay Farmers Market just a few doors down on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

“It’s a little destination tucked in a quiet corner of Auckland and you can easily spend the morning down here,” says Melissa. “Those that have tell us that they’ve found Fabric to be just what they wanted in the area. People really are loving it and it’s turning out exactly how we hoped.”

For more information, visit www.fabriccafebistro.co.nz.

Introducing Bernoulli Gardens – Hobsonville Point’s latest residential development

Bernoulli Gardens by Ockham Residential consists of 120 apartments across five well appointed apartment buildings. At its official opening on Tuesday 4th September, words like ‘transformative’, ‘innovative’ and ‘contemporary’ were used to describe Hobsonville Point’s most recent development - and it’s not hard to see why.

A 1,200m2 landscaped garden sits at the heart of Bernoulli Gardens, interwoven with pathways and achieve a sense of interconnectedness and community. Ockham Residential co-founder Mark Todd explains that while the site has three times as many homes on it than the average site of this size, he and co-founder Ben Preston have retained "twice as much green space as similar projects – and all at two thirds of the price of the average new build in Auckland."

The façades are made from handmade German brick, and are curved around the edges, inspired by the classic London warehouse loft-style buildings whilst simultaneously paying tribute to the historic aircraft hangars and brick factories that are both features of Hobsonville Point’s history.

Hobsonville’s aviation history is also the development’s namesake. Daniel Bernoulli was an 18th century mathematician and physicist who discovered the Bernoulli equations which govern flight.

Of course, practicalities informed the design too. Ockham follow a ‘best practice housing’ protocol to construct homes from durable, low-maintenance materials that age well and improve the local environment.

Each home has a generous 2.7 metre stud, equipped with double glazing and concrete mid-floors. The apartments include LED lighting, heat pumps; and engineered stone bench tops, Smeg appliances and soft close drawers for the kitchen. The bathrooms feature porcelain floor and wall tiles, heated towel rails and New Zealand-made vanities.

Apartment sizes range from 55 square metres to 99 square metres, each with their own private balcony. Secure car parks, located underground to free up green space and other common areas, are available for purchase with all apartments. All owners get to enjoy a north-facing residents’ lounge that spills out over the central garden.

One bedroom apartments are priced from $525,000, two bedrooms from $650,000, and three bedrooms from $765,000.

For apartment viewings, head to the central gardens entrance from Sidney Wallingford Way, Hobsonville Point, every Sunday between 11 and 12pm, or call 09 378 8011 to make an appointment.

Or see www.ockham.co.nz/bernoulli-gardens for more information.

Top architects called to design coastal homes

Two of the building companies that are working at Hobsonville Point will soon be releasing plans for a number of large, luxurious coastal homes that make the most of the north facing land and harbour and bush views along the peninsula’s edge. These homes will connect directly to the coastal walkway.

Both Jalcon Homes and Classic Builders have shoulder tapped some of the city’s best architects to design these homes. Classic has commissioned three top architectural practices – Isthmus, Sils van Bohemen and Bossley Architects – to design six homes each. Jalcon is working with Stevens Lawson architects. In Bossley Architects’ ‘Headland Houses’ terraced gardens provide a place to sit and enjoy the views of the coastal scenery while providing privacy from the walkway.

Each house has excellent sun as well as shelter from the prevailing winds. With floor plans of up to 250 square metres, four bedrooms, two living rooms, multiple bathrooms and a double garage, these are big homes that make the most of their coastal setting. The location puts their owners just a five minute walk from Catalina Bay’s shops and restaurants via the Coastal Walkway.

To read more, download the brochure.

 

Catalina Bay: Where Old Meets New

One of the best things about Hobsonville Point is that its fascinating history gives it a unique character. The area was not only a military base, it was also the birthplace of the commercial aviation industry in New Zealand.

We’ve worked hard to preserve as much of the history as we possibly can – retaining original streets, mature trees, homes and aircraft hangars dating back to the late 1920s – while balancing the commercial viability of the project.

Although it would have more economical in the short term to ‘start afresh’ we believe that building the new community ‘on the bones of the old’ as one resident so nicely put it, brings long term social benefits. Heritage lends continuity and authenticity and contributes to a sense of belonging – a basic human need.  

Retaining heritage is not the easy option. Eighty years of use by the armed forces has left Hobsonville Point with dozens of houses and buildings in various stages of disrepair. It hasn’t been possible to keep everything, for a variety of reasons. Often the cost of replacing unsafe materials is too high.

Willis Bond’s project director for Catalina Bay sums up the challenge well. “In order to save the best we have to sacrifice the substandard. Auckland has done a poor job of maintaining heritage. What we’ve got left we absolutely must preserve for future generations. The critical task is to identify the best and figure out how to keep that.”

Silver say that Willis Bond preserves heritage buildings by adapting them for modern day use. “Buildings need a use that is relevant today and a commercial value which underpins the cost of the restoration. If the project is not economically sustainable, then who pays for the building? Either the taxpayer or rate payer pays, or the building slips into disuse and its future becomes uncertain. “

Willis Bond is in the process of adapting five heritage buildings on the Catalina Bay waterfront now. “It’s much harder and more expensive to refurbish than build from scratch. You need an architect that’s sensitive to the character of the building and a builder that has pride in the work. It’s an activity of love.” 

Here’s a little background on the heritage buildings being restored at Catalina Bay:

 

The Armoury

Now: In part, the Catalina Bay Farmers Market

Military Use: Storing weapons when not in use on aircraft, then later a machine shop and the Armament Engineering Section.

New Use: Farmers Market / Restaurant

Status: Open and humming

Willis Bond will also be announcing a new restaurant soon. Keeping your eye on Hobsonville Point’s Facebook page is the best way to keep up to date.

 

The Seaplane Hangar

Now: Catalina Workshops

Military Use: Housing and maintenance of seaplanes and the home of the Fairey IIIF, Walrus and Cutty Sark. Stored and serviced boats belonging to the Marine Section and housed marine fitters. Also accommodated the Instrument Bay, Electrical Bay, safety equipment, then later, the Metal shop and Woodwork shop and stores.

New Use: Commercial space

Status: Complete and partially leased.

The Seaplane Hangar has been transformed into an industrial chic office space. Willis Bond locked the giant hanger doors open and stripped back a large portion of the cladding to reveal the intricate steel structure. The steelwork was renovated and glazed with glass commissioned in the United States to take advantage of the harbour views.

 

The Sunderland Hangar

Now: Little Creatures NZ

Aviation Use: Servicing TEAL’s two Short Empire flying boats. Later housed the Engine Fitters and the Catalina seaplanes.

Wartime Use: Repair depot for Walrus seaplanes. Later used to service the RNZAF’s giant Sunderland seaplanes

New Use: Micro-brewery, restaurant and office space

Status: Estimated completion Christmas 2018

OK, it doesn’t look flash now, but you wait! We had to strip the hangar back to its bare bones to get rid of the old cladding which contained asbestos. Over the course of 2018 it will be reclad and reborn as the NZ home of Little Creatures. The new corrugated iron exterior will be painted in military greys featuring a striped pattern that was used as camouflage by sea craft to deflect radar from above. A glass frontage will look through to brewery vats. The Sunderland Hangar’s gigantic doors will open onto a public plaza where you’ll be able to sit and look at the harbour.

 

The Fabric Bay

Now: Fabric

Military Use: Initially the Marine Section. Personnel were trained and at times ate and slept there too. The Marine Section made and serviced moorings, serviced the seaplanes, towed targets for aircraft and army training. Later uses included a cafeteria and storeroom.

New Use: Café and Bistro

Status: Expected to open May 2018

The Fabric Bay has been given a new life as Fabric, bringing a sophisticated vibe to the waterfront with its menu built around seasonal, locally grown produce. Luke and Melissa Shore are locals and experienced hospo operators. They say they'll be open from 7am till late from early June. The new deck over the water makes the most of the upper harbour and bush views.  

 

The GRP

Military Use: Formerly the Flying Wing Headquarters where Sunderland Aircrew were trained, including Technical Instruction, and later, the Glass Reinforced Plastics (fibreglass) workshop.

New Use: Office space

Status: Almost complete and leasing now

This striking two-storey, concrete masonry building with its exposed steel trusses and giant steel windows is almost ready to be occupied at the time of writing. It would suit a service-related business wanting a high-profile building, such as real estate company, architectural, legal or accounting practice. It has a 4m and 7m stud height and harbour views.

 

Auckland’s Changing Attitude to Big Backyards

As Auckland intensifies to make space for its growing population, homebuyers are being asked to rethink the suburban dream of a big backyard – and finding some unexpected benefits to living a more compact life.

One of the things that makes living in Auckland fairly unique compared to other large cities around the world is that few Aucklanders are more than half an hour's drive from some wilderness, whether it be bush or beach. The Auckland isthmus is only 2kms wide at its narrowest point. Our topography is both a blessing and a constraint, however, and the Unitary Plan is aimed at ensuring the city can expand without covering the wide open spaces we all treasure with housing.

At Hobsonville Point residents are embracing higher housing densities than in many established suburbs. The homes are closer together and section sizes smaller than the suburbs that were developed in the 1960s and 70s. The density is modelled on our early suburbs like Freeman’s Bay. Private outdoor space is more likely to be a balcony, courtyard or 'outdoor room' than a large lawn. What Hobsonville Point offers instead of "half a footy field within your fence-line," says Caroline McDowall, Precinct Director for HLC, is plenty of public parks and green spaces residents can walk to. "It's about using our land better by putting green space into public hands where it can be shared and enjoyed by everyone."

The township has 26ha of parks and reserves, ranging from pocket parks that form the shared backyard for a group of houses, through to the 13ha Onekiritea (Bomb Point) Park. The suburb has been masterplanned from scratch and the designers have linked up all the parks with a 4.9km green walkway so that residents can walk or cycle from park to park via what is effectively a park also.

The walkability factor is important. We know from studies worldwide that spending time in nature significantly lowers stress and improves your mood and energy levels. Research also tells us that positive mental health outcomes from visiting the park were "significantly related to distance." So, to get the benefits from living near the park it has to be close enough that you'll visit regularly.

Anecdotal evidence from Hobsonville Point residents backs up research that shows that parks increase what's called 'social capital' by providing places to meet and interact, and by strengthening people’s sense of attachment to their neighbourhood. In short, people meet other members of the community at the park and are happier and healthier for it.

"This is a very functional, friendly community and we know that good design has helped make it that way. There's no reason why these design principles can't be applied to Auckland's existing suburbs as we intensify," says Caroline. "It's also encouraging to note how many of the locals have said that moving here has freed up the weekends to get out in nature and see friends, rather than staying home to mow the lawn."

 

Airfields

We were thrilled to see the first home completed in the new Airfields precinct late last year. This is an important milestone for what will eventually be a neighbourhood comprising almost 900 homes. Airfields is owned by Auckland Council’s urban regeneration agency, Panuku Development Auckland. They’ve teamed up with developers, AVJennings to create Stage One (102 homes). Airfields is being developed to a master plan that balances and harmonises all elements within the neighbourhood, and takes into consideration neighbouring precincts also.

In early 2018 construction began on the roading for Stage Two, which will bring a further 510 homes to the market. Stage Two will include a wide, tree-lined boulevard called Waka Moana Drive, which will connect Airfields to the Sunderland neighbourhood at one end and Te Ara Manawa, the coastal walkway, at the other. Construction of the homes in Stage Two, by Top Garden Property, is likely to start towards the end of 2018.

Kerepeti Takes Shape

Kerepeti is taking shape over two sites on Hobsonville Point Road just a few steps from Hobsonville Point’s two schools. Swap the school run for hugging the kids and nudging them out the front door in the mornings! Ngāi Tahu Property has teamed up with the NZ Super Fund and New Ground Capital to deliver 208 homes across two neighbourhoods, Uku and Kerewhenua.

Kerepeti means ‘pliable clay’ in Maori and the neighbourhoods are named after the pure white (Uku) and yellow (Kerewhenua) clays of the peninsula. The names also pay homage to the ceramic and brickworks yards that use to line Hobsonville’s foreshore in the 1800’s.

Kerepeti offers a variety of terraced houses, apartments and walk-up apartments in one to four-bedroom options at prices ranging from $645,000 to $1.3 million. Thirty-four apartments and walk-ups will be available through the Axis Series affordable home ballot for first home buyers.

We’re excited about the 47 homes being built for use as long term rentals. The properties will be owned and managed by New Ground Living. They’ll offer lease terms of up to seven years to give tenants stability while still being able to shorten their lease if their circumstances change.

Kerepeti’s first terraced homes are close to completion on writing, and both neighbourhoods are expected to be fully developed by the end of 2019. Plans and prices are available at the display suite on the corner of Hobsonville Point Road and Glidepath Road – open 10am to 4pm daily. See www.kerepeti.co.nz.

 

Annual Sustainability Report 2016/2017

This year is the ninth year of reporting against the Sustainable Development Framework that was developed at the very beginning of the development process. The reporting framework clearly articulates the vision, goals and objectives for Hobsonville Point.

This report tracks our progress against performance indicators and comments on achievements and challenges over the last year.

 Click on the link below for the full report. 

New community facility will be ready early next year

Our community is soon to enjoy a new space to meet, learn and socialise.

The former Royal New Zealand Air Force Headquarters building at Hobsonville Point is in the process of being transformed by Auckland Council into a new, multi-purpose community facility. The exterior facade will be carefully restored and the original windows repaired, with the aim of retaining and restoring as much of the heritage art deco building’s original character as possible. Inside, the space will be opened up to create more useable spaces, including four main areas and a new kitchen. The kitchen will be equipped to cater for meetings and cooking classes.

Construction is expected to be completed by Christmas, with the centre open to the community early next year. 

A new family home priced below the median still achievable

Securing a new family home priced at or below the median in a good area is still possible in Auckland, thanks to a new programme at Hobsonville Point.

Click on the link below to read the full article.