Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's deputy chief of staff

$16m budget for country's four flashest apartments

The property at 79 Sarsfield St, Herne Bay, as seen from Sentinel Reserve. (Inset) An artist's impression of the proposed development. Photo / Natalie Slade
The property at 79 Sarsfield St, Herne Bay, as seen from Sentinel Reserve. (Inset) An artist's impression of the proposed development. Photo / Natalie Slade

A group of Aucklanders are building what could be the country's most expensive set of boutique apartments for themselves, worth about $4 million each.

It is understood a consortium, led by a property developer, who want to live on the beach are heading the project on the four-unit, waterfront low-rise in Herne Bay - New Zealand's most expensive suburb.

Three of the apartments are taken by members of the mystery group who are looking for a fourth couple to join them.

They are trying to keep the project top secret, with pictures only available to serious buyers on request.

But approved plans for 79 Sarsfield St submitted to the council show that floor plans for the single-level units include two bedrooms with a study.

They are north-facing with large balconies and views over Waitemata Harbour at Sentinel Beach. They are sized between 211sq m and 241sq m with the the master bedrooms overlooking the water.

The building will be five levels with an eight-car carpark at level three. Only two levels will be seen from the road as the 871sq m site slopes towards the beach and will reach a height of 10.8m on that side.

The units will share a boat shed and a jetty already on the site.

The concrete building will have double-glazed joinery, glass cantilevered balustrades, aluminium shutters and natural stone chimneys for each unit.

A 1.5m-high bluestone fence will be erected on the roadside and it will also be lined with nikau and titoki trees. A water feature will adorn the driveway.

In a report by town planning company Envivo, consultant Natasha Rivai wrote: "The layout and shape of the new building is simplistic and modern ... the new building does not try to replicate or compete with the established architectural form or scale of dwellings along Sarsfield St but is sympathetic to these architectural qualities and does not impinge on/detract from their character."

The plans replace a separate set approved last year for an eight-apartment complex to be built across 79 and 81 Sarsfield St. One-off, penthouse apartments in central Auckland have sold for more than $4 million but this development is among the country's most expensive blocks.

Property analyst Bob Dey said they would rival the White Heron Apartments in Parnell. Some units there had sold for millions each. A handful of apartments in Takapuna's The Sentinel had also sold for millions.

"There's quite a lot of expensive apartments around but whether you get a whole building with units the same sort of price is another matter," Mr Dey said. "A lot of them will vary, depending which floor you're on."

But Bayleys real estate agent Karen Spiers said the Herne Bay apartments had the exclusivity appeal as opposed to large-scale developments.

"There's nothing like them on the waterfront, in Herne Bay ... the big thing is [that] they're boutique. There's only four of them."

The apartments were designed by Patterson Associates, which refused to talk about the project.

- NZ Herald

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