Auckland's first mass affordable housing project, with homes priced from $320,000, could rise soon on a plant nursery site between Mt Wellington and Otahuhu.
Charles Cooper, managing director of real estate consultants Colliers International, said Springpark would have 440 apartments and terrace residences on a 10.3ha site at 33 Panama Rd.
"Aucklanders are struggling to get a reality grasp on the housing market," Mr Cooper said of first-home buyers whose expectations, he felt, were often out of kilter with prices. "But these places will be of such a high standard that they will set the new code." He said he had 375 buyers registered.
The site is home to Zealandia Horticulture which plans to move further out of the city.
A resource consent application was lodged on May 20 which Mr Cooper said was notified because only 347 places could be built on the land as of right.
"We're trying for 440 but it's still only 22 per cent site coverage so it's not massively dense," he said, predicting construction to start later this year with the first places finished later next year.
Springpark is to have 288 terrace houses and 152 apartments, he said.
Indications from Auckland Council were that the consent might take about three months which Mr Cooper said was fast, compared to more than a year previously.
Architects Studio Pacific designed the project where places are pictured standing in clusters of four or five, joined by a concrete slab partition firewall.
The developer is Tony Gapes' Panama Road Developments.
He developed Mt Eden's Eden One and Eden Two and the Scene 1, 2 and 3 apartments on Beach Rd.
A council spokesman said an application had been received for 450 residential units on the Panama Rd land.
"The application comprises of a mixture of terrace and apartment units, a small commercial block fronting Panama Rd and several pocket parks. It is understood the development is pitched at the affordable housing market."
Auckland Council said no decision had been made on notification.
Steve Bull, GJ Gardner Manukau and East Auckland master franchise owner, said social agencies had asked him to build three to four-bedroom brick and tile stand-alone places for around $380,000, so the Panama Rd scheme was feasible.
Springpark, 33 Panama Rd, Auckland:
• 1brm 50sq m apartment $320,000
• 2brm 99sq m terrace $399,000
• 3brm 113sq m terrace $439,000
• 3brm 133sq m terrace $485,000
• 4brm 145sq m terrace $550,000
Source: Colliers International