First image of intensive development, including six-level apartment blocks.

Retirement giant Ryman Healthcare has released the first image of a $100 million North Shore village on a waterfront greenfields site where hundreds of people will live.

The listed business plans to build nearly 200 apartments in blocks up to six levels high on the Wakakura site, leased from Ngati Whatua Whai Rawa, on the corner of Lake Rd and Ngataringa Rd above Ngataringa Bay.

The image is taken some distance from the site, from Ngataringa Park. The bay is obscured in the middle of the image, beneath the lines of new buildings. However, because the site slopes sharply down from the quiet residential Ngataringa Rd, an attempt has been made to reduce the impact of such a large amount of building and the height of the structures on the surrounding neighbourhood.

The empty site is between Devonport and Belmont and the scheme has raised concerns for those in the area who fear major traffic congestion, particularly when cars attempt to turn right out of Ngataringa Rd onto busy Lake Rd to get to the Devonport village centre. The land has extensive waterfront views and was once home to dozens of navy houses. Ngati Whatua bought the land under its Waitangi Tribunal treaty settlement process.


Ryman will build 195 independent apartments, 78 serviced apartments, 120 rest home beds and 269 carparks. Five of its blocks will be five levels high.

Simon Challies, Ryman managing director, said the project was designed to have a minimal impact on neighbours and make the most of the land.

"It is an amazing site with a sloping aspect that allowed us to design buildings that are as unobtrusive as possible while making the most of the views," he said.

Local woman Petra Heemskerk said last year she feared an intensive development and the effects on an already clogged Lake Rd between Takapuna and Devonport.

She sent out a flyer to residents asking if they were aware that three- and four-storey apartment blocks could rise on the empty land.

"People have been fairly positive about a retirement village as opposed to social housing, obviously. I think the scale of any new development is the main issue," she said last year. "The issue is not the development of the site in itself.The issue is intensive development and the phrase in the unitary plan that these sub-precincts are 'suitable for medium or higher density development'."

Ngati Whatua paid $10 million for the 4.2ha waterfront site.