It’s called The Village, it puts in place a plan going back 17 years, it will be accompanied by at least one & possibly several new entries to the country’s busiest beachside park.
It will provide what the notion of hasty carpetlaying of landscapes with unmitigated housing subdivisions doesn’t: a natural community centre.
And it will have, within & on the fringe, some intensive housing (apartments pictured, above retail).
Todd Property Group Ltd launches its $70 million Village at Long Bay apartment, retail & dining destination today.
It’s a short step – about 200m – back from the expanded Long Bay Regional Park, which was created by the former Auckland Regional Authority in 1965, added to by the former Auckland Regional Council & North Shore City Council and, over the last decade, extended through public acquisitions of what was to have been development land.
Development battle goes back to 1995, and beyond
The Environment Court ruled in 1995 that the metropolitan urban limit should be shifted to include Long Bay but not Okura, to the north on the other side of the Okura Estuary. The North Shore City Council released a concept plan for Long Bay in 2000, followed by a structure plan in 2001.
In the early days of the Long Bay subdivision development, the placing of intensive housing was a point of combat. Council planners wanted it immediately behind the regional park boundary, where a line of private baches had sat for decades. The developer whom Todd replaced in 2008, Greg Olliver of Landco Ltd, thought that was insane and told me of the North Shore council plan: “Their structure plan has Otehas on the ridge behind the beach.”
Public planners also took their ideas on where the town centre should be to council hearings – an extension of the council concept plan & structure plan intentions of preventing ecological damage into the very different dimension of telling a developer how to develop.
The public planners posted their town centre on a ridgeline slightly further north than where Mr Olliver, and now Todd, wanted it.
The Village is where developers wanted it
Instead, after many hearings, the Village, with its services & apartment residents as well as shops and food & beverage outlets, will be perched where the developers wanted it, just above the Vaughan Stream that winds down the hill, and on its southern side. Preparations are underway for more housing, both standalone & terraces, up the northern slope from the stream toward Vaughans Rd, which led down to the original 1860s farm & homestead of the Vaughan family that were the original components of the regional park.
The Long Bay subdivision has 450 houses built in the first 7 years of development, and Todd envisages it will add about 1700 over the next 8 years. That in itself will be a community, alongside the existing Long Bay College. The food & beverage element of the Village will target park & beach visitors who arrive via the new Glenvar Ridge Rd entrance to the park.
The 1.6ha centre has been designed by Architectus and will feature courtyards & about 28 businesses, including restaurants, a medical centre, a chemist, a supermarket, gym & retail outlets. Their views seaward will be over wetlands & extensive new planting.
The upper floors of 2 of the 5 Village buildings will contain 26 premium apartments, a mix of one- & 2-bedroom units with views over the park to the Hauraki Gulf. Construction has just begun on site, and Todd expects to have the seaside village completed in 2019.
Key to a transformation
For Todd Property managing director Evan Davies, this gateway is a transformation in keeping with the standard of integrated public & private landscapes throughout the subdivision. “For the first time, visitors to the Long Bay Regional Park are going to be able to walk from the beach to fantastic new shops & eateries in just a minute or 2,” he said.
“This is going to be a premium village centre that we think the people of Long Bay are going to be really proud of. It’s going be a vibrant place for the community to come together, on the edge of a beautiful natural landscape.”
The key to it is the new route to the park down Glenvar Ridge Rd, scheduled for completion in 2019. At the moment, residents have 2 access roads from the existing Torbay street network and the park entrance is at the southern end of the beach. The new 1km stretch of Glenvar Ridge Rd will be a more direct route from the Northern Motorway, down the ridgeline from upper Glenvar Rd to the Village and on to the park. The road is supported by extensive geotechnical engineering works, including 770m of underground piling up to 15m in depth.
“It will have a cycle lane & footpaths and will transform the entry experience for people coming into Long Bay, for all modes of travel,” Mr Davies said.
16 February 2015: Todd hands 19ha at Long Bay to council
28 September 2010: Council swan song adds 38ha to Long Bay public space
7 December 2009: Councils add $7 million to Long Bay purchase bills
18 July 2008: Court side more with council than Landco over Long Bay
18 July 2008: Todd ousts Olliver from Landco
26 July 2007: Olliver says council plan for Long Bay “a recipe for disaster”
26 July 2007: Landco savages council over Long Bay
2 April 2007: Great Park Society gets new talks under way
17 October 2006: Lee tells deputation he’ll urge planners: “Go to the edge of the law to protect Long Bay backdrop”
14 July 2006: Landco & Great Park Society both lodge Long Bay structure plan appeals
27 April 2006: Councillors vote to notify Long Bay structure plan
21 April 2006: Commissioners reject Landco’s version for Long Bay
16 May 2002: Regional council gets Long Bay deal
21 December 2001: Arbitration agreed for city council’s Long Bay reserve target
7 October 2001: Long Bay reserve designation & structure plan notified
29 August 2001: Councils start designation process to acquire 44ha at Long Bay
Shore councillors slow Long Bay infrastructure process
Buyer pricks council’s Long Bay euphoria bubble
2001: Shore councillors tell developers who’s boss (in theory)
15 October 2000: Long Bay concept plan released
[Many articles written before 2004 are incorrectly dated 2 March 2004, the result of a website design change; I’ve changed some of the references here].
Attribution: Company release, interview.