A big benchmark is approaching at the end of next month in the evolution of an area pivotal to the development of central Auckland, waterfront Wynyard Quarter.
That's when the the Pavilions, the first new residential offering in the Wynyard Central community within the Quarter, is due to be completed.
Most of the 25 residences in the boutique, timber-clad Pavilions complex sold earlier off the plans, but there are six two-bedroom apartments available to buy now to suit those with a shorter-term buying timeframe.
Willis Bond, already well known in Wellington, was selected as the developer of Wynyard Central by Panuku Development Auckland (previously Waterfront Auckland) following a competitive international design and tender process. Understandably, it is important to Willis Bond that the Pavilions are delivered well.
Managing director Mark McGuinness says: "The Pavilions are a flagship for us as our first multi-unit delivery in Auckland and we've thrown everything at them with a team including great architects and great builders."
Architectus designed the distinctive 25-apartment complex overlooking Daldy Park, spread across three neighbouring timber-clad buildings, each with its own entrance, lobby and lift, anchored by ground-floor retail.
Mark says: "We have stayed true to the original vision Architectus presented us with and that has resulted in beautiful apartments within beautiful buildings.
"There is now really only light finishing to do on this project - things like carpet - but we also spend a lot of time doing quality checks before we consider anything to be properly completed. People can see and feel for themselves the quality and the great design now there's a finished apartment for them to go through.
"It's really important to us that the Pavilions set the benchmark for later apartments we'll build at Wynyard Quarter, which I believe is going to be the future heart of Auckland."
Willis Bond has predominantly produced large-scale waterfront and urban mixed-use developments since establishment in 1988, including high-profile Wellington waterfront wharf redevelopment Clyde Quay Wharf.
When completed, the Wynyard Central community, which is targeting a Homestar 7 rating, will be comprised of three major forms: the Pavilions plus complementary neighbouring brick townhouses and an apartment building in concrete.
Construction of the latter two is under way as is work on Willis Bond's luxury Wynyard Quarter apartments, 132 Halsey.
All Pavilions apartments have covered west-facing balcony-loggias orientated for sun and views next to the greenery of the linear park.
Having three individual pavilion buildings has created a more intimate scale, with only one to three apartments on each of the four residential levels.
These sit above ground floor retail, planned to include a cafe, which has secure basement parking below. A European-style lane running off Pakenham St West parallel to Daldy St will provide pedestrian access to the Pavilions apartments.
Mark says: "It's possible the America's Cup base will be at or very near Wynyard Quarter, which would be extra icing on the cake, but whether it is or not, this is already an area with terrific amenities, with restaurants and cafes, public art, outdoor spaces and the new ASB Waterfront Theatre."
The last few Pavilions apartments for sale, including one top-floor apartment are all two-bedroom, two-bathroom ones, priced to include one to two basement carparks.
Potential buyers can see the standard of the completed apartment with its engineered timber flooring, eco-label New Zealand wool carpet, engineered stone benchtops, Miele appliances and Italian-designed Paini tapware. Fully tiled bathrooms have heated floors.
Apartment purchase price includes a ground lease prepaid by Willis Bond for 128 years from the start of construction, equating to about 125 years from completion, with a guarantee of no ground rent payable throughout that period.