A new $205.4 million urban village with almost a half-hectare shopping precinct and 231 apartments is to rise in an Auckland horse racing club's carpark.
Dominique Dowding, Alexandra Park chief executive, said an Auckland Trotting Club special general meeting approved plans for the new village near the Green Lane West Rd/Manukau Rd intersection
Apartments would sell from $550,000 to more than $2.8 million for a penthouse and the new shopping centre will be on the ground floor, she predicted.
"Alexandra Park's 223 Green Lane West development will see the car-park adjacent to the ASB Showgrounds transformed into a mixed-use precinct comprising a 4773sq m of ground floor retail space with 231 apartments above," said a statement just released.
Dowding indicated the development decision was taken partly to enable the trotting club to survive.
"Keeping harness racing alive in Auckland for the coming decades is now looking a lot more secure. This latest support from our members' caps off what has been a great year for the club - its 125th year no less," she said.
The development plan was the club's biggest decision and was the key to the club's long-term viability, she said.
"We're lucky because Alexandra Park is seen as pretty iconic real estate. It's a very central location that's just waiting to be drastically improved. We expect the sales process to be hot, with apartments appealing to the likes of empty nesters, young urban professionals, and families seeking the much sought after double grammar zone.
"What we're trying to achieve here is a really attractive and stylish 21st century urban village with great design, amenities and public spaces in the heart of Epsom. Aesthetically it's going to be a huge transformation from the ugly old dust-bowl car-park to a new village with great boutique retail stores and top food and beverage. It will be a real lifestyle destination," Dowding said.
The Auckland Racing Club's Ellerslie land alongside the Southern Motorway has also been developed, with a group of new buildings for commercial, hospitality and medical services.
Last year, Alexandra Park's club president Kerry Hoggard revealed $110 million development plans.
The club had gained resource consent for a development along Green Lane West, but it hoped to slightly alter that, and believed the new proposal fitted Government and local government plans for more inner suburb dwellings in Auckland, a Herald article last October said.
Hoggard said racing faced its challenges, as do many industries, but a move like this is aimed at providing revenue away from the club's racing activities," said Hoggard, telling of the benefits of the money.
"And we can use some of that revenue to secure our future racing activities and that money will filter back into the entire harness racing industry," he said at the time.
See a map of the area here: