Construction of New Zealand’s tallest new apartment tower has reached level 35 of 56 and just over half the 221 units have been pre-sold.
Simon Ma of Shundi Customs, which is building the $300 million 187m Seascape on Customs St East in Britomart, said about two-and-a-half floors were rising every month due to the efforts of around 150 workers on the site.
“Currently we are up to level 35. By Christmas, we will have reached level 40. This is the highest floor our standard apartments go. By the start of the new year we will begin the sub-penthouse floors,” he said.
More than half the units in the tower at 83 Customs St East have been presold.
“We have achieved and received 60 per cent of the selling stocks’ deposits,” Ma said.
That points to deposits being taken on more than 100 places.
The building will have 192 car parks, of which 152 will be in five underground levels, and an additional 40 above ground on levels five and six.
“Unfortunately we aren’t able to publicise the exact sold number because of confidentiality and marketing sensitivity,” Ma said.
The cheapest sold apartment presold was at $650,000. It was a studio and the deposit was paid in 2018.
“One of the penthouses was sold at $17+ million,” Ma said.
Shundi says of its building: “Seascape will be the tallest residential tower in New Zealand and a magnificent sculptural addition to the Auckland skyline.
“The striking design, with its angular glass form and lattice mega-brace, is the product of a dynamic collaboration between developers, Shundi and architects Peddle Thorp.”
The Pacifica nearby is 57 levels but is only 178m tall so Seascape is planned to eclipse that.
Another planned tower - the 183m Federal Apartments - won’t now be built by landowners from Melbourne who want to sell their site for someone else to build there.
Ma said about 60 per cent of Seascape is now up.
Basement work took far longer than expected. In 2020, the Herald reported how Auckland Council staff were inspecting the foundations with a council officer expecting final sign-off on that below-ground stage around the middle of this year.
Jeff Fahrensohn, the council’s field surveying manager, said two years ago that examinations were being carried out on areas of the diaphragm wall in the CBD’s deepest hole, to ensure compliance.
“The council has moved into the final phase of investigations happening on the site. Six areas are being exposed around the outside of the basement.
“The first was uncovered about six months ago and we are going through six panels. We would expect signoff on the foundations around mid-year,” he said at the time.
Ma today acknowledged the length of time below-ground works had taken.
“The build was complex at the start due to the nature of building a basement that has never been seen before in New Zealand. Good things take time, especially for the shoulder levels of complexity we are working at.
“We are working at maximum capacity to mitigate the industry impacts felt from Covid, mixed in with labouring and resourcing shortages,” Ma said.
Completion is due in the second quarter of 2024.
Peddle Thorp says the developer is a subsidiary of Shundi Group, an international development company with headquarters in Shanghai, which has “a vast portfolio of developments in China and abroad”.
“China Construction New Zealand is part of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, the largest building company in the world.
“Their impressive portfolio includes Federation Tower – the tallest tower in Europe – and the Shanghai World Financial Center – the eleventh tallest building in the world,” the architects said.