First pre-sales of up to 600 apartments in new mini-suburb on Auckland’s waterfront set to start in February.

Pre-sales of the first of 500 to 600 new Wynyard Quarter apartments start in February and the first show-home is being built.

Mark McGuinness and Roger Twose of developer Willis Bond & Co which won the right to build 17 buildings on five blocks of land said they were yet to chose real estate agencies to market the places, which are set to create a new mini-suburb with thousands of people around Auckland's waterfront.

A 320sq m steel-framed display suite rising on Daldy St will give buyers the first taste of the new places and McGuinness said that steel-framed structure alongside the new 38m-wide Daldy Street Park had been designed to be moved to another site as the development progressed.

Phil Twyford, Labour's housing spokesman, raised concerns about wider plans for the quarter.


"The regret I have is they seem to have decided there's no place for affordable housing there," Twyford said.

"Even in the most desirable and exciting parts of the city like this, we should be building mixed communities ... and catering to mixed incomes ... We shouldn't be building ghettos for the rich. I wish they'd rethink that and put affordable housing into the mix."

A spokesman for land owner Waterfront Auckland has confirmed no affordable housing was planned but diversity of building use was to be incorporated into the precinct.

Willis Bond won an international design and tender process for two leasehold blocks - a waterfront site on the corner of Halsey and Madden Sts overlooking the Viaduct Harbour and four sites in the heart of Wynyard Quarter, bounded by Daldy, Beaumont, Madden and Pakenham Sts.

But Willis Bond lost the tender to build the new Park Hyatt hotel, awarded to Chinese developer Fu Wah.

Twose said one-bedroom apartments would sell from about $600,000 and work would start on the first two blocks of land next year, finishing late 2017 to early 2018.

Those initial two blocks in the $750 million scheme will be:

The 10-level Wynyard Central, designed by Architectus, which steps down to lower levels towards the north, on the corner of Daldy and Madden St. That block will have 120 apartments.

A seven-level 25m block, designed by Athfield Architects, at the intersection of Halsey St and Madden St, now home to a black glass building leased to Ateed and sub-tenants. That block at 132 Halsey St will have 60 apartments.

Details of three other blocks have also been released - East 2 by Architectus and West 1 and West 2, both by Studio Pacific Architecture.

McGuinness said about 800 carparks would be built and Twose said that would be in a single level beneath each block.

Each apartment would have about 1.2 carparks, McGuinness said.

Apartments in Site 7 would sell for more than East 1 due to that new block's proximity to the waterfront, they said.

Roger Twose of developer Willis Bond who are building 500-600 apartments and townhouses in the Wynyard Quarter.

McGuinness said builders appointed to the project were his family's third generation firm, L.T. McGuinness - the Wellington-headquartered business which has also worked on the heritage Governor-General's residence, Government House in Wellington - and local Auckland firm Hayden & Rollett Construction.

The apartments will be built during the next eight to 10 years and funded through a Willis Bond business.

In 2009, Willis Bond Capital Partners raised $128 million but that was fully invested by early this year so in April, a second fund, Willis Bond Capital Partners II raised nearly $100 million.

"Investors in the funds include the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, the Government Superannuation Fund, Accident Compensation Corporation and a number of high net worth individuals," a company statement said.

McGuinness said these included TradeMe's Sam Morgan and that the firm had $1 billion of projects under way.

McGuinness said he co-founded Willis Bond in 1988 and established Pencarrow Private Equity with Morrison & Co in 1994.

His first major development was Chews Lane Precinct which started in 2004, a $180 million mixed-use scheme in the heart of Wellington.

Twose is a former Black Cap who worked as a senior manager of corporate finance at National Bank, heading its syndications and agency section.

Willis Bond has other Auckland work on, including a 7.4ha block Hobsonville Pt block where it will build the 211-residence Sunderland on Housing NZ Corporation's land on the city's northwest fringe.

One of Willis Bond's largest project was Wellington's Clyde Quay Wharf - a $170 million restaurant and apartment project on the old Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Leasehold on that Wellington wharf was prepaid for 125 years, the same as in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter, but McGuinness said he could not say how much was paid to Waterfront Auckland due to confidentiality arrangements.

Wynyard apartment buyers will not have ongoing leasehold payments because their money pays for the entire 125-year lease.

Wynyard Quarter apartments
*17 buildings on 2ha in 5 blocks near waterfront.
*500-600 apartments, townhouses, duplexes.
*About 800 carparks beneath those blocks.
*Shops and boutique offices on ground levels.
*All places to meet 7-star Homestar standard.
*Prices in the first two blocks will start at about $600,000.
[Source: Willis Bond & Co]