The first glimpse of what four-storey apartments could look like in the proposed Bayswater Marina Village has drawn a mixed reaction from North Shore residents but the promoter says so far he has had "great feedback".
When marina owner Simon Herbert showed images to a public meeting last week, the reaction ranged from gasps, exclamations of "oh my God" to scoffing laughter and applause.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," said Mr Herbert, adding he was seeking feedback ahead of a resource consent bid.
He wished to turn a barren 3.34ha site reclaimed from the Waitemata Harbour into an area of 100 terraced houses and 20 smaller apartments above shops and cafes.
He said the height limit was 12m and 85 per cent of the site would remain open space, including a compulsory 15m-wide strip around the water's edge for public access.
The company would throw its weight behind efforts to get a long-promised new $12 million ferry terminal.
Residents would have the opportunity to take the public ferry to downtown Auckland and visitors could use proposed new boardwalks, beaches, two new parks, upgraded restrooms, cafes and a restaurant.
Bayswater resident Paddy Stafford-Bush said for 30 years the community had demanded the reclamation stay public open space.
"There is shock-horror from the community," she said. "People had not realised how dramatic a change it would be - they are giving us a built environment."
Former North Shore MP Wayne Mapp said he supported a degree of residential building on the land but he was concerned that four storeys was out of scale with the community.
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board member Joseph Bergin said the proposal for three storeys of living space with car parking underneath looked about right for the site but any higher would be inappropriate.
"The proposed development still retains public access and activated shop frontages could be a vibrant addition to the community."
Support for Mr Herbert came from Brett Stansfield, Green Party North Shore candidate.
"I feel a lot better informed about the development and really like the incorporation of walkways and cycleways, the creation of a swimming beach and cafes.
"We need better public transport to the area to make it a complete success."
North Shore MP Maggie Barry, who arranged the public meeting, said she was worried that people felt there was no point in making submissions about the proposal because no one would listen to them.
"I urge people to have their say on the proposed Unitary Plan and what it allows to happen there."