A new $100 million-plus food and dining, office and apartment precinct has been announced for a waterfront site at Hobsonville Point on Auckland's north-western fringe.
Mark McGuinness, managing director of developers Willis Bond, said construction of the Catalina Bay project had started, creating space for food and beverage services, 6000sq m of offices and up to 80 apartments.
Willis Bond is buying 1.8 hectares of state-owned land for the scheme, due to settle in stages in the next three years, he said. But he refused to say how much his business was paying for the Government-owned land.
"There was a competitive process at the outset and we were one of several bidders. An investment of over $100 million begs the question of whether that's state business of the Government to develop a seaside village," McGuinness said.
"The first stage is restoring existing heritage buildings, the Sunderland hanger and the Catalina hanger. Both of these had the old flying boats in them," he said.
A farmers' market already operates from the area but would move 50 metres to a permanent home once a heritage building had been refurbished, McGuinness said.
The north-eastern tip of the point, previously called The Landing, has been re-named Catalina Bay. McGuinness said the precinct backs onto Launch Rd.
Catalina Bay's location is here:
The area has the wharf where the ferry to downtown Auckland docks. Ex-airforce hangers and buildings will be restored in stage one of the development, he said.
"Catalina Bay will accommodate a variety of uses including a micro-brewery, cafes and restaurants, restored character offices, and an already thriving farmers market. Willis Bond will also develop between 60 to 80 high-quality freehold apartments in this majestic waterfront setting," the company says.
Hobsonville Land Co has leased office premises in the new precinct, said its chief executive Chris Aiken. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Housing New Zealand Corporation which manages the development.
The entire Hobsonville ex-airbase is being transformed into a new community expected to accommodate more than 11,000 people.
Ockahm Residential is developing the 120-unit Bernoulli Gardens at Hobsonville Point, holding a ballot which closed yesterday for $450,000 one-bedroom units.
Many group house builders are also purchasing titles and selling house and land packages at the point.