In 2006 when Dr Patte Randal first entered her garden apartment on the ground floor at 24 James Cook Crescent, via an elegant communal foyer, and just minutes from busy Remuera Rd and Newmarket, she was impressed by its atmosphere of genteel quiet and calm.

"I could see that it was a desirable spot in a quality building," she says.

At the time, Broadway Park was in the process of major development and with all the building finally finished now, this pleasant, central, leafy neighbourhood has proved to be extremely popular — especially among professionals such as lawyers and medics who want to be close to their workplaces.

"We have an excellent body corporate who really look after the building and its amenities," says Patte. "It's very well run."

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With two bedrooms, an en suite bathroom, and a further, separate toilet and laundry, Patte has plenty of room for herself and her little dog Oscar.

She says the compact modern kitchen has been easy to use and it has loads of storage.

Then there's a pleasant dining space, beyond which lies the main living area.

Outside, in perfect flowing order is a generous green courtyard, which is a wonderful place for sitting in the sun — something many apartments simply can't offer.

"The light just streams in, practically all day," Patte says. "Whoever designed this place was very clever in knowing how to make the most of its location."

She has recently repainted the interior and laid new carpet, but everything else is still in its original 'as new' condition, with a classic mix of neutral colours that has successfully stood the test of time.

As a complex, 24 offers a private swimming pool, gym, sauna, and tennis court.

Patte's garden apartment comes with two secure covered carparks and a storage unit.

In terms of the neighbourhood, she says that she couldn't have asked for more.

"The people in this building are all nice and many of us have cats and dogs, so it's a pet-friendly environment. We all get together for a Christmas function, and at various other times during the year."

Just moments from motorway access, Patte could be at her former workplace in Pt Chevalier in a flash, driving against the rest of the traffic.

The Newmarket train station is close, and she's noticed that since electric trains came in there's little or no noise to contend with. The neighbourhood is also well served by buses, and there are shops and eateries galore.

In her leisure time, Patte's enjoyed taking Oscar for walks to the seafront. And, although she can't actually see it from her apartment, turning into Middleton Rd and looking out to the harbour and Rangitoto ahead, always gives her a thrill.

Now semi-retired, British-born Patte is about to embark on a change of direction in her life, spending more time in the UK, while keeping another small New Zealand base.

Already a published author, she's writing a book based on her experience of psychiatry over a long and interesting career.

Her decision to sell the garden flat wasn't easy as she has grown attached to it during more than a decade in residence.

"It's very private, very secure, and requires only minimal upkeep.

"I have enjoyed it very much and I can say with utmost honesty that I would buy again here in a flash," she says.

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