High in a residential tower destined to change the Auckland skyline, some residents will be able to look out over sweeping harbour views — and have a barbecue.

You might see Great Barrier Island in the distance and perhaps watch some America's Cup action, says Gavin Lloyd, CBRE's national director of residential projects.

Construction of the Commerce St building, set to be the tallest residential tower in the country, is under way.

At 178m and with 57 levels, the build will bring a new level of luxury to the Auckland apartment market, says Gavin.

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Living at The Pacifica will be fun, he says. You will have luxury inside with all that Auckland offers on your doorstep, including many amenities in the building itself, from a lap pool and sauna to a gym and spa.

The build will also have a boutique hotel and restaurant.

Gavin says the idea behind the design and layout is to create a new neighbourhood in downtown Auckland, so there will also be shared spaces, such as a cinema/media room and a library.

The building will also be striking, he says. Architect Jaimin Atkins of Plus Architecture New Zealand worked with Australasian developer Hengyi Pacific to create a glass facade designed to reflect the surrounding city and harbour.

A pikorua motif lends itself to a "twist" pattern on the building's exterior and Gavin says as the twist comes past your apartment it gives you a winter garden.

"It's really an internal balcony space and Aucklanders particularly love that because it is so wet and rains so often that what we find is that external balconies rarely get used.

"It allows you to still have fresh air but it's waterproof so it becomes an extension to your living space."

You can have plants and open the windows — and have a barbecue, he says.

"Or if you prefer you can have them almost as a glass house or a sun room and read a book."

The apartments are split across four "collections", which Gavin says are often a feature of iconic global residential towers but which are a new concept for Auckland.

At The Pacifica there is the Commerce Collection, which is closest to the ground with the mid-rise section called The Tower Suites. Above those is the Sky Homes Collection and above those is the Penthouse Collection.

Specifications are slightly upgraded as you go up the building, says Gavin, and with 138 different floor plans across the one- to three-bedroom (plus penthouse) apartments to choose from there is something for everyone.

"If you look at Sydney and Melbourne or other locations around the world, what we're now seeing is far better design outcomes with natural light. ... there's beautiful natural light coming in so you get lots of solar access."

The extra size means there is plenty of storage, which means downsizers will still have space for important treasures, plus there is dedicated storage in the car parking area so there is room for items which define the Kiwi lifestyle — the kayak, surf board, fishing rods or bike.

Whether you buy a car park or rent one, the building will have valet parking, which offers that touch of luxury.

Gavin says because a lot of Kiwis returning home have lived in fabulous New York or Hong Kong apartments the developers wanted to offer world-class amenities.

There's a swimming pool, sauna, a spa, a gym, community room/resident's lounge, a media room/cinema, a library/corporate workspace and a barbecue terrace.

That means you can have your privacy but you can also get to know people if you want to.
"One of the outcomes we set out to achieve was a city neighbourhood — literally a new neighbourhood in the city — so we did need to create those shared spaces where residents come and gather."

Sales so far are mostly to local owner occupiers including young couples after a one-bedroom apartment as well as some "super-wealthy people" who have bought the large three-bedroom Sky Homes "so it will constitute a full range of people like a genuine community does".

The project lifts the bar with European appliances and quality fittings and finishes at every level, plus the majority of apartments will get a fantastic harbour view — "that's what Auckland is renowned for, that harbour".

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