Ask most Aucklanders to find Pipimea Head on a map and they'd be scratching their heads. But hundreds pass it every day on the corner at the end of Mission Bay and at the turn of last century, was the site of the Kohimarama Wharf.

Peter Jones and his wife Judy have had years of spotting potential and turning it into something special. They could see potential in a scrubby point with an old house and poor access, with a pohutukawa-framed view of the Waitematā, Rangitoto and and the tip of Sky Tower behind Takaparawhā or Bastion Point.

They had been checking out a property at 26 Selwyn Avenue but ended up buying the old place next door, living in one, turning the other into their signature three-level luxury apartments. Agent Gerard Charteris from Ray White Remuera says this is the eighth of the Jones' projects he's marketed. The couple have a well-honed team in architect Brian Cullen and interior designer Jennie Dunlop.

"We have all worked together for many years so all know our like and dislikes," says Peter. He is a builder by trade. Judy and Jennie focused on the design and finishes for the three-year project.

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20A & B Selwyn Ave, Mission Bay, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
20A & B Selwyn Ave, Mission Bay, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

"There was huge ground works involved, piling and stabilising work including some six metre rods going in to hold the bank up," he says.

While each project requires its own look, the signature includes open plan living with a cosy second sitting room, spacious high 2.6m studs and full height doors.

Floor plans on the ground and mid-level properties are the same, but the ground floor, for sale by international tender, is wrapped by gardens and terraces framed by the mature pohutukawa tree.

"At night in the summer, the terrace off the master bedroom is the best spot; in the winter it gets the last of the sun," says Peter. Competition for that best spot is fierce — around the west side of the garden is a raised gazebo, perfect for watching the city lights or the water action, while off the living room is a glass walled loggia that can be opened up in good weather or closed off from wind and rain in the winter.

20A & B Selwyn Ave, Mission Bay, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
20A & B Selwyn Ave, Mission Bay, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Inside, Jennie and Judy chose light timber flooring, a wide-plank driftwood-coloured oak that reflects the beach, adding a soft palette of easy neutrals. In the impeccably detailed kitchen they chose a mix of pale and dark grained oak with a quartzite waterfall island bench. There are integrated Liehberr and Miele appliances and a dark grey mirrored glass splashback so that the cook can still see the sea views.

20A & B Selwyn Ave, Mission Bay, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
20A & B Selwyn Ave, Mission Bay, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Jennie and Judy brought in marble in the bathrooms, repeated in the chunky hearth of the gas fire in the living room. They had fun with a super-luxe guest powder room and sourced spectacular lighting for all the principal rooms, including modern crystal for the entry lobby. There is full air-conditioning, automation and even wiring for charging electric cars in the three-vehicle basement garage.

Charteris sees that this pair of properties (the penthouse has already sold) would work as well for families as for couples, and is expecting international interest.

20A SELWYN AVE, MISSION BAY, AUCKLAND
• 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathroom, 3* parking spaces.
• Sale: Tender closing 4pm May 30
• Contact: Gerard Charteris, Ray White Remuera 021 996 622; Trent Colyer 021 989 466
* Plus storage