A plan to build a high-rise apartment, office, shopping and public car park complex in Takapuna has shrunk from a 30-storey to a 20-storey building because the developer says it will better suit market demand.

The bigger $200 million Merge development won Auckland Council resource consent last year.

It is proposed for the old Huron St gasometer site, together with an adjacent site now occupied by The Baby Factory. The former North Shore City Council sold the gasometer land to Location Group in September 2007 in a partnership deal where it would buy back the completed 750-space public carpark building.

Location Group managing director Mark Weipers said the project had come out of an "extended gestation period of some seven years" due mostly to the market recession and planning requirements.


An amended resource application would be sought from Auckland Council this week, which reduced the scale of the building to reflect market sentiment but kept the mixed-use nature of the development concept.

The bigger scheme had required too much selling and leasing ahead of the target - start building in October and finishing in March 2014.

Mr Weipers said the less risky and more sustainable proposal kept the mixture of ground floor retail, public car park, commercial offices and residential apartments.

The tower in the old plan had been squashed down 10 levels but the building would spread out more to the boundaries. Changes would reduce office and apartment space by 13,000sq m or by 16 per cent. The council car park would have 750 spaces.