Think of Onehunga and you'll probably think of cute villas but it's a big, formerly semi-industrial site close to the village that has spawned this new apartment development.
Clothing items such as singlets and socks were produced on the site at the Holeproof factory from the 1960s that later housed a company producing fruit-sorting machinery.
Now developers Lamont and Co are going to clear the existing warehouses and offices on the 1.29ha expanse of land to offer architecturally designed new apartments interspersed with greenery.
Tim Lamont says: "The name 'Fabric of Onehunga' links to what the site was used for before. And it also fits because we want the development to fit with the existing urban fabric of the area."
That well-established urban fabric was part of what attracted Tim and his brother Andrew Lamont to create apartments here.
Tim says: "Onehunga has a town centre at its heart with good cafes and shopping, a really loyal community and good transport linkages."
The site with existing houses along its northern side is a couple of blocks east of Onehunga's main strip, within 600m of Onehunga Station's trains to Britomart and handy to the suburb's regenerated foreshore.
It is about 10 kilometres from the airport, a similar distance to the CBD and will benefit from the imminent opening of the Waterview Connection.
The brothers are planning 240 apartments across five four-storey buildings in the two-stage, pet-friendly project.
Stage one is comprised of three buildings, and apartments in the second of these have just been released to buy off the plans.
Andrew says: "One of the things that sets this development apart is the extent of the landscaping between the buildings and in the central pocket park."
Boffa Miskell, who were also involved in the master planning of this new community, conceived landscaping including the central park area of about 800sq m as communal areas for residents.
Ashton Mitchell Architects' design reflects the site's light industrial heritage with buildings wrapped in steel cladding, black joinery and timber detailing.
Tim says: "I think the architecture is a reasonably bold statement. We wanted it to be distinctive."
The buildings' more industrial aspects, such as standing seam metal cladding, are softened by the use of concrete and timber plus the greenery.
A striking design aspect is the light-filled multi-storey atrium spaces containing suspended pedestrian walkways that will provide access to the apartments.
All the one-bedroom to three-bedroom apartments have their own exterior living, either in elevated balconies or in private ground-floor terraces.
Living areas and bedrooms laid out along the buildings' exterior faces have windows providing good light and ventilation, looking out onto the landscaped areas.
There will be secure basement car parking, basement storage lockers and the ability to lock up bikes on the gang planks to each apartment within the atriums.
The Lamonts say likely purchasers include young singles or couples including first home buyers plus downsizers who want a quality apartment they'll be happy to live in without necessarily spending $1-million plus.
Fabric of Onehunga was among the last of the SHA (Special Housing Areas) approved, meaning 10 per cent of its apartments are available for first home buyers who meet income criteria to buy for less than $615,000.
Lamont and Co's development experience includes Central Auckland student accommodation and the SKHY residential-commercial precinct being created off Khyber Pass Rd.
Buyers can inspect Fabric of Onehunga's two-bedroom, two-bathroom display suite on site. Construction is scheduled to start in the last quarter of this year with the first stage of 160 apartments completed two years later.