When you buy an apartment — and don't have the luxury of an uncapped budget — you have to decided whether you prioritise space over views, says apartment owner James Pan.

In his case, it was the open plan space of this modern-looking apartment in an older building that won him over.

"I really like this apartment because it has three separate areas: the conversation area by the window, a place for watching TV and movies with the kids and board games, and the sitting area around the pillar."



Previous owners had renovated the apartment. Wall treatments include concrete, exposed bricks, timber and designer wallpaper.

Polished concrete floors ground the warehouse renovation effect. Custom-made steel framed glass door walls in each bedroom replicate the frames of the external windows.

Updates James added are the ceiling fans, LED pendant lighting, storage and the bathroom's makeup/grooming station. "A few things to make it more homely," he says.

22 Emily Place, Auckland City. Photo / Kellie Blizard
22 Emily Place, Auckland City. Photo / Kellie Blizard

The building started life as a warehouse in the 1920s. It shows its heritage in its solid concrete construction, the warm-coloured bricks, elegant windows and high studs.

Also unusual is the two street entrances. The Emily Pl entrance would have once been the back entrance, for horses and carts. The main entrance was on the other side at Anzac Ave.

"It's now an up-and-coming building that people buy apartments in and start renovations," says James. "They like the exposed concrete and brick because there are not many apartments in the city where you can do that."

He has enjoyed being part of the progressive body corp. "People who live here want to improve common areas in the building because we have been improving our apartments."

22 Emily Place, Auckland City. Photo / Ted Baghurst
22 Emily Place, Auckland City. Photo / Ted Baghurst

James describes his apartment as having a similar style to a New York loft conversion. Its foyer leads into the apartment. Tucked around the corner on the left is where James has a dining table by one of the windows; next to that is the conversation area.

In the middle of the living space is custom shelving, more seating, the entertainment hub and the bio-ethanol fireplace — something James says adds ambience as well as a surprising amount of warmth.

The kitchen has a laminated wood bench and cabinetry as well as an island bench of granite. Appliances are F&P and Bosch.

The apartment's eastern side is dedicated to the two bedrooms (the second could instead be an office), the laundry (with storage) and the large bathroom with a freestanding tub, vanity, makeup/grooming station as well as a double walk-in shower.

22 Emily Place, Auckland City. Photo / Kellie Blizard
22 Emily Place, Auckland City. Photo / Kellie Blizard

"I like the way the designer pushed the bedrooms and bathrooms to the one size," says James. "And I don't remember seeing any other apartments with so much living space.

The total space is 120sq m.

"If you compare what you get in the new build for the same price, you'd be looking at 100sq m."

His apartment faces west, the windows looking out to an evergreen tree and bringing in the afternoon sun. James says there is also a lot of reflected light from the white buildings nearby and the Lumley Centre.

He has loved living in this quiet street while still being only a short stroll from Fort St and Britomart.

"I'm selling because next year my son goes to university and I have another place that's bigger.

• 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 0 parking spaces.
• 120sq m.
• Price: Price by negotiation.
• Body corp: $8116.75
• Inspect: Sun 2.45-3.15pm or by appointment.
• Contact: Julie Quinton, Bayleys, 021 894 071; Ellis Prince, 021 261 2590.