Construction of Waiheke Island's new marina at Kennedy Point is due to begin early next year, creating 181 berths selling from a minimum $180,000 each.
Tony Mair, director of Kennedy Point Marina, said today that building work would start in April and he revealed the bottom price - but not the top.
"Berths start from $180,000, depending on their location and how long they are. I'm not saying what they finish at. They all vary in prices. Of the 181 berths, as of yesterday, we had sold 110. We're selling them for 34 years with rights of renewal," Mair said.
No total project cost has been released, but if berths sell for an average $400,000 each, the project could be worth $72 million.
Auckland marina berths go for a wide range of prices, depending on location, length and terms: Orakei berths are understood to sell for similar prices to Kennedy Point.
But a berth at Bayswater on Auckland's North Shore is being advertised for $26,500 through to 2031, while berths at Hobsonville are selling from around $12,500 to $25,000.
Mair said: "We're now working on finalising the designs. It's selling fast."
Starting the project had been a battle, he indicated.
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"We got consent in May 2017. It was appealed to the Environment Court, then [opponents] went to the High Court and lost, back to the Environment Court and lost and the Māori Land Court and lost," Mair said.
On December 13, the Environment Court refused an application by opponents, clearing the way for the project to go ahead. Principal Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook, sitting with two commissioners, rejected the SKP Incorporated application to the hear the matter again because of new issues arising.
Whether opponents SKP would lodge an appeal to the latest Environment Court decision out this month was unknown, because they have 30 working days.
"They have a right to appeal, but that's all negative and in the past. We're moving on," Mair said today.
Opponents SKP sought donations to "help us protect our island's character" and have discouraged people from buying berths.
"We are local Waiheke Island residents who care deeply about this island, its ecosystems and its culture. Through a lens of sustainability, we see the building of a marina not only as regressive but as the wrong move for the vast majority of the people on the island," they say.
"From the hundreds of people whom we have interacted with, we are confident that we represent the voice of the people of Waiheke," SKP said.
Kitt Littlejohn, Kennedy Point Boatharbour's legal and planning director, said berth licenses were perpetually renewable, subject to the renewal of the marina coastal permit.
That permit is up for review in 35 years, at the council's discretion, he said.
"This is unlike many other marina licenses which expire and must be bought again. That Kennedy Point a very different proposition to other marinas and therefore more valuable," he said.
The wharf would be the first component built.
"Construction will be in-situ and should take about nine to 12 months. The attenuator units and all other floating components will be manufactured off-site and barged to Kennedy Point for installation.
"The floating attenuators will need to be in place before the other internal fittings. We expect the attenuators to be installed by month 14, say, June 2021, with all the other components and utilities/services completed by early 2022 at which time the marina can open," Littlejohn said.
Donald Bruce Rd would be upgraded and widened for around $500,000 and that will be paid for by Mair's business. That final cost is subject to Auckland Transport's design.
Littlejohn said that would be done in the low-season in 2021, with the carpark upgrade occurring either at the same time or the following year to minimise disruption to commuters.
"We are working through the details with Auckland Transport at the moment," he said.
"We have recently confirmed our main contractors for the marina build will be Heron Construction, under licence from SF Marinas AB, and Total Marine," Littlejohn said.