It's big and bold — but not everyone's a fan of the $200 million multi-storey housing and retail development planned for one of Auckland's favourite beach suburbs.
The design for Auckland's Urban Partners proposal to develop a 6527sq m block the company owns between Tāmaki Dr, Patteson Ave and Marau Crescent in Mission Bay has been described by experts as conservative, pragmatic, too art deco, or not enough.
More than 100 apartments and townhouses, a 2920sq m hospitality and retail space, up to 265 car parks and a 955sq m cinema complex with four or five theatres, all across seven buildings of varying heights up to seven storeys, are planned.
Urban Partners this week lodged a resource consent application with Auckland Council to demolish existing commercial buildings and flats.
New Zealand Institute of Architects communications' manager John Walsh said the Buchan Group design was conservative and pragmatic.
"It's not art deco but it's kind of appealing to that art deco feeling or sentiment ... in architectural terms it's not that compelling, because it's neither/nor.
"It's harking back to a style that belonged to a particular time and it's probably handicapping the contemporary expression of what you could put on that corner, but it's context. It's happening ... in an outspoken district that's been quite determined to resist too much intensification, so it's a softly, softly approach by a developer and their architect to not alienate a community, and get a project done."
Mission Bay Kohimarama Residents' Association chairman Don Stock said they had serious concerns over the height, bulk and visual dominance of the development, and effects on homeowners.
A petition launched on change.org to "preserve Mission Bay's art deco architecture" had only 44 signatures by yesterday. University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning senior lecturer Bill McKay described the development as "a bit Gold Coast" which could've been more sensitive by not taking over the whole site with similar-looking buildings.
Incorporation of an existing building, such as the De Fontein Belgian Beer building, would've been welcome.
The scale of the development showed the future Auckland under the Unitary Plan, a blueprint for meeting future economic and housing needs.
"Welcome to the Unitary Plan. That's the scale of everything we'll be seeing in locations like this."
Greater Auckland deputy director Patrick Reynolds said there were too many car parks.
"Those car parks will destroy the utility of any buses on Tāmaki Dr ... it really needs bike lanes and priority for the buses and then we could intensify that cove like billy-o and it would be fantastic."
Mission Bay redevelopment project director Doug Osborne said the owners sought design that was in tune with and sympathetic to the local community, of which they are part, and which "reflected the uniqueness of Mission Bay, its long history, its beautiful north-facing beach and relaxed atmosphere".
Car park numbers were determined by council requirements for a minimum number of car parks to support the retail, and to meet minimum car park numbers required for apartment owners, Osborne said.
No additional car parks were sought.
Architects Buchan Group's portfolio includes the redevelopment of Australia's biggest shopping centre, The Chadstone Centre, as well a $220m planned expansion of Sylvia Park.