Nearly 1000 apartments and townhouses priced from $500,000 are planned at Wynyard Quarter on the Auckland waterfront when the first block of residential land is offered to developers in March.
The foray into housing follows the successful development of public spaces, which attracted 65,000 people to events over Auckland Anniversary Weekend.
Any thoughts of creating affordable housing at the prime central city waterfront location have been dismissed by Waterfront Auckland, which expects prices for the smallest apartments to start at about $500,000.
Small townhouses could be priced from $850,000 and many properties will sell for well in excess of $1 million.
Waterfront Auckland chief executive John Dalzell yesterday said the council body was close to finalising a housing blueprint that aimed to create a greater diversity of housing and residents than in other parts of the waterfront.
There would be stringent design controls, an emphasis on sustainability and provision for community facilities, such as childcare, medical rooms, convenience stores and possibly a school.
The block of land for housing is 2.76ha and bounded by Halsey St, Daldy St, Madden St and Pakenham St, one block south of the public spaces along Jellicoe St. Two of those streets - Halsey St and Daldy St - are being turned into tree-lined boulevards at a cost of $29 million.
The block will provide 100,000sq m for about 980 apartments and housing units, ranging from low-rise townhouses to 35m apartment towers.
The long-term plan is for Wynyard Quarter to have a resident population of 2500 to 4000 and a working population of 12,000 to 15,000.
Krister Samuel, a real estate agent for Ray White Central Apartments, said Wynyard Quarter was an iconic piece of land that would be in high demand by developers, buyers and renters wanting a piece of Auckland's City of Sails lifestyle.
He said the central city apartments were full and there was a need for more housing.
"It's an opportunity to design something that makes an international statement.
"It would be a shame if they put dense, low-cost housing there," he said.
Bayleys Research manager Gerald Rundle said the central city apartment market gathered further momentum in 2012.
Prices last year had responded to the upward trend in sales activity which had been apparent since 2011, he said.
Sales statistics released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showed annual sales figures had reached their highest level since 2007.
*980 apartments/townhouses at Wynyard Quarter
*2.76ha building site for housing
*35m maximum building height
*$500,000 starting price
*2500-4000 residential population planned at Wynyard Quarter