Auckland's Wynyard Quarter is making big strides from a run-down industrial port to a swanky waterfront neighbourhood.

Three major residential developments in the area are due for completion by 2020 - meaning thousands of residents will be moving into around 500 new homes ahead of the America's Cup in 2021.

By this time, Wynyard Quarter was tipped to have a community of around 5000.

Willis Bond & Co has partnered with Auckland Council's property redevelopment agency Panuku Development Auckland for the three residential developments; Wynyard Central, 132 Halsey and 30 Madden.

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The former chief executive of Waterfront Auckland, John Dalzell, said it was pleasing to see the vision for the project come to life.

Dalzell, who left his place at the helm of the project in 2015, said there were "very few people" who really believed in the vision early on.

"I think the question for the new crew going forward, is, how do you build upon a good start?" he said.

"How do you continue to evolve the space so it's always fresh and interesting?"

The first tenants moved into the first completed homes - a set of standalone pavilions - at the end of last year.

Mark McGuinness of Willis Bond & Co said construction on the remainder of that development would wind up by the end of this year, while construction for the second development, on Halsey St, was scheduled for completion by the year's end.

Work on a third development, on Madden St, would begin in September and was expected to wrap up around 2020.

Markets at Silo Park. Photo / Chris Loufte
Markets at Silo Park. Photo / Chris Loufte

Townhouses, pavilions and apartments were up for grabs within the new areas - a mix McGuinness hoped would attract a diverse range of residents.

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"Our number one objective was to create a create a real community at Wynyard," he said.

"To do that, any community has a cross-section of members."

Back in May, Willis Bond & Co said all but a few of the residences at Wynyard Central and Halsey St had sold.

More than half of the apartments at 30 Madden had also already been snapped up.

McGuinness said rapid growth on the waterfront meant developers hadn't had to "force" amenities such as barbers, or dry cleaners, into the area.

"The demand for retail space, for example, to deliver that kind of thing is already there."

Some homeowners would have the option to buy a car park - as McGuinness said, Aucklanders love their cars - but other studios would not.

For those without this option, several council-driven projects would improve access to public transport in the area.

Quay St would go through a makeover to become more pedestrian-friendly and would also receive a new bus facility.

The area was part of council's scheme for a rapid transit network, with plans for light rail linking Wynyard Quarter and Britomart to Mt Roskill and Owairaka.

Panuku Waterfront Development director Katelyn Orton said the next stage of development would maintain the original vision for Wynyard Quarter, in being an exemplar of sustainability.

People enjoy the sun at Wynyard Quarter. Photo / File
People enjoy the sun at Wynyard Quarter. Photo / File

The development team regularly reported on sustainability targets and was continually looking at how to utilise new technologies in doing so.

Orton said the future viaduct would be accessible to everyone.

The original row of predominantly upmarket restaurants leading through to Silo Park would be complemented by hospitality options such as food trucks.

"We do provide for a diverse range, in different forms. Some of them may be pop-up, some of them may be the North Wharf restaurants," Orton said.

"Over the next two years, you're really going to see the Quarter come to life more… also as part of that you're going to have new public spaces so the public can come down and enjoy."

The area, formerly known as the Western Reclamation, was historically used by the timber trade before it became a storage area for bulk petro-chemicals.

In 2005 Ports of Auckland developed a vision to turn the area into a harbourside community.

This plan has since been taken over by Panuku - with chief executive Roger MacDonald at the helm.

Wynyard Quarter will also soon be home to a new $200 million luxury hotel, which is due for completion in March next year.

A look at how far Wynyard Quarter had come, precedes its seventh birthday next Saturday.

Auckland Council had organised a karakia at dawn and sunrise tai chi, as well as live music and foodie offerings to celebrate the occasion.