Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Wynyard apartments will sell for $500,000 and up

Wynyard Quarter is being developed as an area of waterfront restaurants and open spaces. Photo / Think Photography
Wynyard Quarter is being developed as an area of waterfront restaurants and open spaces. Photo / Think Photography

Affordable housing will be missing when Auckland Mayor Len Brown unveils plans today for a swanky new housing development at Wynyard Quarter on the waterfront.

At Wynyard Quarter, the selling price for the smallest apartments, on what will be leasehold land, will start at $500,000, with small townhouses beginning at $850,000 and larger ones well over $1 million.

The Auckland Council and its waterfront agency have no plans for affordable housing on the council-owned 2.76ha development site, despite the rhetoric from Mr Brown's left-leaning council to increase the supply and choice of affordable housing.

Nearly 1000 apartments and townhouses will be built on the block of land bounded by Halsey St, Daldy St, Madden St and Pakenham St, one block south of the public spaces along Jellicoe St.

Councillors will be briefed today on the development - which is being flagged as "an investment opportunity with strongly defined aspirations around sustainability, diversity and public amenity".

The sale of the leasehold land is tied to an instruction from Mr Brown to Waterfront Auckland last December to attract more private sector investment to Wynyard Quarter and not simply spend more public money.

In a sign of the financial pressure facing Waterfront Auckland, the agency's board has made a sudden decision to withdraw funds for two vintage trams and their 1.5km circuit at Wynyard Quarter.

Mr Brown said today's announcement was primarily focused on the commercial development of Wynyard Quarter with a secondary focus in due course for some apartment development. He said he had not given a huge amount of consideration to affordable housing at Wynyard Quarter.

Asked if he saw Wynyard Quarter as an exclusive enclave for the rich given the high value of the waterfront land, Mr Brown said: "In due course we will get through the appropriate configuration of housing choices and options."

- NZ Herald

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