Murdoch Dryden, who turned a derelict Glen Innes factory into a thriving home for 16 businesses, will head a syndicate charged with intensive redevelopment of statehousing land in the north of the Auckland suburb.
Housing New Zealand yesterday named the three-firm Creating Communities syndicate, made up of Arrow International, Hopper Developments and Southside Group, as its preferred partner for detailed planning to redevelop 156 properties to create at least 260 homes and revamp 40 more.
"This is a catalyst for Glen Innes to hit its potential as a cracking good location, near to town, beaches and transport links," said Mr Dryden.
"It's the beginning of 10 to 15 years of dramatic change in housing quality, which is exciting to be involved in."
Many Glen Innes homes dated back to the 1950s when expectations were lower and were designed for a life of 50 years.
Mr Dryden, who is chairman of the Glen Innes Business Association, is a shareholder in the project, which he said would create many opportunities for local firms.
In 2006, Dryden Property turned a rat-infested, asbestos-ridden factory in Apirana Ave into a modern commercial block.
Syndicate partner Southside Group developed Baverstock Park and Eastpark Village, and Orewa-based Hopper Developments is known for coastal lifestyle developments Marsden Cove Marina and Maygrove Retirement Village.
Construction company Arrow International is represented in the syndicate by subsidiary Arcus Developments.
The syndicate's name yesterday drew fire from Labour MP Phil Twyford.
"To call it Creating Communities when Housing New Zealand is actually in the process of destroying one is a bit rich."
Mr Twyford called on the agency to stop evicting Glen Innes people from homes and stop moving houses out.
NORTH GLEN INNES STATE HOUSING
* Three firms chosen for redevelopment syndicate.
* 156 state properties affected.
* 260 new homes proposed.
* 78 of these will be state-owned.
* 39 marked for community housing.
* 43 for private sale.
* 40 for upgrading.