Beach, parks and community
Come summer, the beach at Long Bay Regional Park will be one of the busiest spots around Auckland as families gather from far and wide.
It's popular for its safe swimming and its long stretch of beach where there is plenty of room for beach games and picnics. There are also some free barbecues at the beach so you often see families set up for the day.
When development was first proposed for farmland adjoining the park, there was an outcry over the scale of the subdivision proposed, but that was scaled back when Todd Property Group took over the development and proposed a master-planned community with its own village centre. It is designed to be a walkable community with easy access to the beach.
Mike Hotchin, of Bayleys, says the site is about 160ha but only part of that will have housing, with parcels of land being vested as reserve land as the development moves through its stages. There will also be parks, wetlands, boardwalks and paths throughout the development. He says consent has been granted for about 2,600 homes but there could be 2,000 or fewer homes built with a mix of standalone houses, terraced homes and apartments.
"With the standalone homes, typically the sections are 500sqm and with quite big houses on them, but they all have a park nearby," says Hotchin.
The steeper parts of the site have been terraced to create building platforms and that has the added advantage of creating north-facing sea views over the top of the houses beneath.
The first home was sold early last year, and Hotchin estimates the development is somewhere past a third complete, with about three more years to go before it is finished, depending on demand, which has been "very strong" so far.
"It's a really cool development," says Hotchin. "From East Coast Bays to Takapuna, it's the only planned community that engages with the beach and the parks."
Buyers have various options: purchasing a house-and-land package from a group builder, buying a completed spec house, or buying a section and bringing their own builder on board. Covenants mean designs have to be approved by the developer.
"The houses all look different," says Hotchin, "but what the developer wants is a very high standard of house of a coastal style with big windows. Everyone's embraced that."
When the village centre is complete, at the end of 2017, it will have about 25 shops as well as a full-size supermarket and a selection of cafes and restaurants.