Frankton could become Hamilton's version of Parnell or Ponsonby. That's the opinion of two Hamilton City councillors and a property developer investing in Frankton.
Councillors Angela O'Leary and Dave Macpherson, and Andrew Yeoman, the man behind the Queen's Park residential development, say Frankton has the potential to become a village similar to Auckland suburbs Parnell or Ponsonby. But, says Angela, it needs an injection of residents to support a move in that direction.
Andrew is developing Queen's Park, a 38-house community on the corner of Queen's Ave and Fraser St. He has sold 26 of the properties with building under way on at least three of those.
Andrew has used planners who've designed the houses in keeping with the area's historic railway cottages. They also embody modern urban design principles: they all have low fences, the living areas front the road and the garaging is generally towards the back of the properties, accessed by service lanes at the rear.
The streets will be tree lined and a park located near the centre of the community.
Angela is excited to see significant residential investment in Frankton.
"Andrew's concept is ideal. But we need more people like him to invest in the area. There is so much potential for Frankton to be a really vibrant place; it has so much character."
A long-time supporter of Frankton, Angela said Queen's Park would ideally be connected to the village via a pedestrian overbridge from the railway station to Commerce Street.
"Frankton could certainly be a little Ponsonby. It's got a lot going for it - good school zones, the area has great character. I see real value here," said Andrew. The development, within walking distance of the CBD's office, retail and food establishments, appealed to a range of people including new home buyers, executives, families, retirees and property investors, he said.
Andrew's next project is also in Frankton. He is proposing to build a mixed-use apartment/retail complex on a vacant site he owns on the corner of Hall St and Lake Rd.
The project still needs resource consent and the area's zoning needs to be changed, however, Andrew is confident building will start early next year. The two-three storey complex will include up to 50 apartments, service shops and possibly office space.