Plans for the biggest new block in Auckland's burgeoning Wynyard Quarter near the waterfront have been announced.

A new 12-level $220 million 140-unit residential block is planned by Willis Bond and apartments are priced from around $600,000 to more than $6m.

Mark McGuinness, managing director of the developer, said today Auckland Council had granted consent for 30 Madden, the biggest block so far in that area and the third from his business.

The first 90 apartments in stage one are about to be marketed and McGuinness said his brothers' business, LT McGuinness, would build it.

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"We'll start building this around the middle of 2018," he said.

The development is planned for a Panuku Development Auckland site which has been cleared north of the tram shed, McGuinness said. That site, on the Westhaven side of Madden St, is bounded by Madden, Daldy and Packenham streets and is opposite Willis Bond's apartment display suite.

Willis Bond is developing two other big apartment blocks nearby: the 51-unit project at 132 Halsey St near the new ASB Auckland Waterfront Theatre and the 113-unit Wynyard Central between Daldy St and Madden St.

McGuinness said work on both projects was on time and on budget.

Body corporate fees at 30 Madden would range from about $2500/year to more than $10,000/year, depending on the size of the property, he said. Around 160 carparks are planned on the site.

The business wants to build five new blocks all up.

"You're looking at around 600 apartments over the five different sites Willis Bond will build in the Wynyard Quarter. This is through our relationship with Panuku Development Auckland to do all the development of residential at Wynyard, in the same way Precinct Properties are doing the offices and Fu Wah are doing the hotel," McGuinness said, referring to the new $200m Park Hyatt, now under construction on Halsey St.

At 30 Madden, a level three courtyard of more than 1000sq m would be available to residents but no pool: "We're not big on gimmicks. One of the things about pools is that they add a lot to the body corporate costs and few people use them, so we're focusing on the amenities in the apartments," he said.

"We are creating a fantastic community and I think it will be the new heart of Auckland," he said.

However, Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford fears the area will only for the rich.

site of new block here:

"The regret I have is they seem to have decided there's no place for affordable housing there. Even in the most desirable and exciting parts of the city like this, we should be building mixed communities ... and catering to mixed incomes ... we shouldn't be building ghettos for the rich. I wish they'd rethink that and put affordable housing into the mix," Twyford said of plans for the area.