Archive | Hibiscus Coast

3-way partnership to fund infrastructure for next big subdivision at Wainui

Government support for infrastructure funding ahead of the next big residential development between the Hibiscus Coast & Kumeu is recognition that Auckland Council doesn’t have the capacity to provide the works immediately, for recovery over the longer term.

Image above: Housing developed over the last 5 years below the Millwater Parkway.

Through the immigration explosion of the last 5 years, the council’s debt has risen to be a wafer short of its limit, although the same issues of infrastructure funding have been staring politicians in the face for 2 decades.

The last government chose major roads as its best option for infrastructure funding, and watched on as former mayor Len Brown told Wellington the Auckland council would go it alone in starting the city rail link. The Government later joined in, to become a full partner.

Offroad transport is the greatest apparent need to defuse the congestion steadily bringing Auckland to a more widespread standstill, at all times of the day. But, as the net inflow of migrants into the region remains above 30,000/year, a change in how subdivision preliminary works are funded was equally imperative.

3-way partnership, outlay recouped through targeted rates

Housing & Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford.

The answer from Housing & Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford came on Wednesday, when he & Auckland mayor Phil Goff announced a 3-way partnership to fund $91 million of roading & wastewater infrastructure to support the building of 9000 homes at Wainui, immediately west of the Millwater subdivision rapidly being built out between Silverdale, Orewa & State Highway 1 40km north-east of downtown Auckland.

Along with the council & Government entity Crown Infrastructure Partners Ltd, the Government special purpose vehicle (SPV) will have Fulton Hogan Land Development Ltd as the third partner.

Mr Twyford said the Milldale project (an extension beyond Millwater, which began in 2007 with Fulton Hogan as one of the partners) “demonstrates an approach to funding that allows private investment in new infrastructure, with the debt sitting on a balance sheet that is neither the council’s nor the Government’s.

“The Milldale project is an example of the innovative new approaches to financing infrastructure that the Government is developing through the urban growth agenda. This funding model can be used in other high growth areas affected by the housing crisis to help more houses to be built more quickly.

“This could include private investment in infrastructure, funded by a charge on the properties that benefit from the infrastructure.

“This new infrastructure funding model will result in a large number of homes being built much sooner than otherwise would have been the case.

“One of the major roadblocks to our towns & cities growing is the lack of ready access to finance for the infrastructure that allows for new urban growth, for greenfields or brownfields developments.”

Mr Goff said addressing the shortage & unaffordability of houses was a priority: “We’ve zoned much more land for housing, but we need the infrastructure before we can build on it. Using Crown Infrastructure Partners to fund that infrastructure enables us to build roads, water & wastewater services without overburdening the council with debt and exceeding our debt:revenue ratio.

“We can build more homes sooner and tackle the housing crisis quicker than would otherwise have been possible.

“This project enables nearly 4000 new dwellings in Milldale, and the infrastructure can support another 5000 dwellings in the surrounding areas as well. It’s a big step towards meeting Auckland’s housing needs.”

Fulton Hogan Land Development has already started work on Milldale.

Crown Infrastructure Partners has secured long-term fixed-rate debt from the Accident Compensation Corp, and the special purpose vehicle will provide $48.9 million towards the infrastructure, with the Crown contributing less than $4 million.

The council contribution will total $33.5 million.

The SPV funding will be repaid over time, partly by Fulton Hogan Land Development and partly by section owners as an ‘infrastructure payment’ collected as a targeted rate through council rates bills.

Mr Twyford said: “This new model of infrastructure financing means that long-term debt can be raised through the SPV to enable the building of largescale infrastructure, which is needed to step up the rate houses are being built at, and to assist councils which are nearing their debt limits.

“The Milldale development will be a modern, contained urban development with green spaces & parks, a town centre, cycleways & walkways, and potentially education facilities, and will be connected to the northern busway.

The infrastructure includes a new arterial road & bridge connecting Wainui Rd to the State Highway 1 interchange & Dairy Flat Highway at Silverdale, intersection upgrades, a roading extension & bridge to the Highgate Parkway business precinct on the eastern side of the motorway, and wastewater tunnels.

Construction of the wastewater tunnel has started, and the first residential sections will be released in the early new year.

Mr Twyford said the infrastructure funding & financing pillar of the Government’s urban growth agenda would enable responsive infrastructure provision & appropriate cost allocation, including the use of project financing & access to financial capital.

Through this agenda, he said the Government aimed to reform infrastructure funding & financing by:

  • providing a broader range of tools & mechanisms  to enable net beneficial bulk & distribution infrastructure to be funded
  • rebalancing development risk from local authorities to the development sector, and
  • making long-term debt finance available to developers willing to take on the commercial risk, with the debt serviced by revenue from the new properties in a development.

Link: Millwater & Milldale website

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Penlink prospect gets real

Penlink, a proposal dating back to the 1980s start to development of Gulf Harbour at the end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, is an integral feature of the urban development of the Hibiscus Coast, 30-40km north of downtown Auckland.

Image above: The Auckland Transport/NZ Transport Agency map of the north-eastern infrastructure plan. Penlink is dotted line 3 at right.

Gulf Harbour has progressed, thousands more houses have been built on the peninsula, new business areas have sprung up at Silverdale, at the start of the peninsula, and the Millwater subdivision has spread from there across to State Highway 1.

But that integral link – once to have been 2 lanes each way from Redvale, across Weiti Forest land and over the Weiti River to Stanmore Bay – was again deferred in June, when Auckland Council pushed it back to 2028 in its long-term plan. It also shrank from 4 to 2 lanes.

The 7km Penlink road is consented and would reduce, by about 50,000 vehicles/day, the nearly 130,000 vehicles/day that travel through the nearby Silverdale business area to get to-from the motorway.

The one concession to the rising traffic congestion that has been a consequence of deferred action has been to introduce peak-hour use of the median strip at the start of the main peninsula road to double main-direction flow.

3-year campaign by Barnett

Enter Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, who has campaigned for 2 years to get Penlink built, after an approach from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board.

Mr Barnett won an assurance from Transport Minister Phil Twyford in April that, if money could be found outside the coffers of the Government & Auckland Council, the toll road could be built.

Last Friday, Mr Barnett said it could be done: “An unsolicited bid by an international group to establish a joint venture with a NZ construction company to undertake the Penlink toll road project as a BOOT – Build, Own, Operate, Transfer – has been lodged with the NZ Transport Agency.

“The offer is to provide the majority of the estimated $400 million capital needed to build a 4-lane tolled Penlink road – including bridge over the Weiti River, busway, cycleway & possibly park-&-ride – recovering all revenue on an extended concession and transferring back to Auckland Council for free at the end of the concession.”

The proposal is from China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Railway Group Ltd, which in turn is a subsidiary of China Railway Engineering Corp, a company listed in Hong Kong & Shanghai and controlled by the Chinese Government.

In June, Mr Barnett wrote: “It’s crazy that Auckland Council can give a low priority to a project that has one of Auckland’s highest benefit:cost assessments – 3.5 for a project costing $348 million – meaning that for every dollar spent it will generate nearly $3.50 in economic benefit.”

“It shows we have a flawed system. Here we have a new government wanting more public transport, walking & cycling, but then goes for a 2-lane option. Our recent survey which government & council are well aware of shows that the public want a 4-lane road with a public transport option.

“Meanwhile the announcement bringing forward Penlink has already fuelled property development in Silverdale & on the Peninsula, with a number of long-delayed apartment projects towards Gulf Harbour now underway.

“And gridlock on Hibiscus Coast Highway continues to get worse, with 10km traffic queues between the interchange with State Highway 1 & Orewa and also along the peninsula to the Whangaparaoa shopping centre.

“Construction & engineering consultancies have advised me that there is a construction void in the market; they have little or no work and which ‘ready to go’ Penlink is ideal to fill.”

The next move is up to the NZ Transport Agency.

The agency & Auckland Transport have had Penlink in their sights for years, and produced a presentation on their websites last year showing its role in diverting traffic away from Silverdale.

Links:
Chamber of Commerce, Penlink page
Auckland Transport, Penlink presentation January 2017
NZ Transport Agency, Supporting growth – delivering transport networks, Silverdale, Wainui & Dairy Flat

Disclosure: I live on the peninsula, right where Penlink would start.

Attribution: Chamber of Commerce releases, NZTA & Auckland Transport.

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Variety of sales confirms strong Hibiscus Coast market

3 sales by Bayleys agents have confirmed a strengthening commercial real estate market on the Hibiscus Coast.

A property in a motor trades-dominated Orewa side street, with space to develop, has sold on a 4.4% yield, and a newly developed site occupied by a Z fuel station 200m from the Silverdale motorway onramp has sold on a 5% yield.

In a third strong Hibiscus sale, a vacant unit in the new Silverdale retail & business precinct has sold at over $6000/m².

North-east

Orewa

6 George Lowe Place:
Features: 830m² site zoned town centre, 450m² building, longstanding tenant’s lease expires in 2021
Rent: $66,000/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $1.5 million at a 4.4% yield
Agent: Mustan Bagasra

Silverdale

5 Hibiscus Coast Highway:
Features: 2466m² site beside park & ride bus station, recently completed 228m² 24-hour Z fuel station comprising retail outlet, canopy & forecourt, 4 pump islands servicing up to 8 lanes; initial 18-year lease to Z Energy Ltd
Rent: $314,000/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $6,281,067 at a 5% yield
Agents: Bill Lissington & Tony Chaudhary

20 Central Boulevard, unit 10G:
Features: 60m² semi-furnished ground-floor unit, one parking space, in a modern complex in the new Silverdale retail precinct
Outcome: sold with vacant possession for $370,000 at $6166/m²
Agent: Mustan Bagasra

Attribution: Agency release.

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2 townhouse sales

A duplex unit in Royal Oak was sold at Bayleys’ suburban auction series last week and an Onehunga townhouse was sold post-auction.

Isthmus east

Onehunga

9C Curzon St:
Features: single-level 3-bedroom townhouse, 2 bathrooms, double internal-access garage
Outcome: sold post-auction
Agent: Glenn Baker

Royal Oak

22 Turama Rd, unit 2:
Features: 152m², 2-bedroom duplex, double internal-access garage
Outcome: sold for $935,000
Agent: John Procter

North-east

Red Beach

15A Fairway Avenue:
Features: m², 2-bedroom townhouse, office, double garage
Outgoings: rates $/year including gst; body corp levy $/year
Income assessment: $/week
Outcome: passed in
Agents: Karen Asquith & Graeme Mann

Attribution: Agency release.

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Metlifecare gets Red Beach consent after village redesign

Metlifecare Ltd has been granted resource consent for the development of a new retirement village on its 5ha site at Red Beach, on the Hibiscus Coast.

Chief executive Glen Sowry said today the new village would differ from anything Metlifecare had done before: “After our original resource consent application was declined in November 2016, we took the opportunity to start again with some bold ideas about how we will meet the needs & expectations of our next generation of residents while also becoming an integral part of the local community.

“We believe the new design, which we have developed in collaboration with local residents & the council, represents a whole new approach to retirement living & aged-care support. We have created an urban neighbourhood precinct which combines all the benefits of a fit-for-purpose retirement village within a wider community environment that promotes & enables inter-generational & social integration, both of which we believe will become increasingly important to residents in the future.”

Mr Sowry said the new village would comprise about 320 units & beds, providing the full continuum of independent living & care apartment options including villas, manor houses, apartments & hospital-level care.

“The flat site has given us some real flexibility in our building configuration, with all parts of the village easily accessible for older residents while merging seamlessly with the surrounding neighbourhood.”

Metlifecare expects the total investment over the life of the project to exceed $200 million, and Mr Sowry confirmed the revised village design would comfortably meet Metlifecare’s investment criteria & margin thresholds: “While the revised scheme is less intensive, we are confident this retirement village concept will be well received by the community and adds significant value to the company. Our modelling indicates that each completed unit will add about 25% of its value to our net assets.”

The company expects to spend 4 years building the village, starting with site works in October. Mr Sowry said the first units were planned for completion by mid-2019, and said the new scheme provided the company with a staging flexibility which didn’t exist in the previous scheme, allowing construction to be accelerated according to demand.

“We believe demand for this village will be strong. The Hibiscus Coast has one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing populations, with people moving from far & wide to enjoy its relaxed lifestyle.”

Earlier stories:
5 August 2016: Propbd on Q F5Aug16 – Wiri site for Turners, Ryman at Hobsonville, Metlifecare unconditional at Red Beach, port alliance, Stride buy OK
13 January 2015: Metlifecare buys 5ha of Red Beach golfcourse for new retirement village

Attribution: Company release.

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6 sell at Colliers auction

5 commercial properties were sold at Colliers’ auction on Wednesday, and another shortly after.

Isthmus west

Avondale

432 Rosebank Rd, unit 4:
Features: Coverstaff NZ Ltd on new 6-year lease
Rent: $52,000/year
Outcome: sold for $891,000 at a 5.8% yield
Agents: Charlie Oscroft & Craig Smith

Mt Roskill

954 Dominion Rd:
Features: 130m² site, corner café, 3-bedroom apartment
Rent: was $550/week for café, $420/week for apartment
Outcome: sold for $890,000
Agents: Peter Kermode & Jasmine Yao

North-east

Albany

34 Triton Drive, unit B2:
Features: 185m² air-conditioned office, 5 parking spaces,
Rent: $65,542/year net + gst, 6-year lease
Outcome: sold for $835,000 at a 7.8% yield
Agents: Janet Marshall & Paul Salmon

Mairangi Bay

3A Whetu Place:
Features: 537m² high-stud warehouse
Outgoings: opex $55/m²/year
Rent: $76,317/year net holding income; current lease expires September 2016
Outcome: sold for $1.255 million at a 6% yield
Agents: Mike Ryan & Matt Prentice

Hibiscus Coast – Millwater

175 Millwater Parkway, unit 8:
Features: 103m² retail unit I new development, 6-year lease with 2 6-year rights of renewal
Rent: $41,020/year net
Outcome: sold for $770,000
Agents: Euan Stratton & Matt Prentice

North-west

Westgate

Fernhill Drive, unit A:
Outcome: withdrawn from auction
Agents: Shoneet Chand & Brad Visser

South

Drury

228 Flanagan Rd:
Features: 2.1165ha site zoned future urban
Outcome: passed in at $800,000
Agents: Tony Allsop & Tim Lichtenstein

East Tamaki

11D Blackburn Rd:
Outcome: withdrawn from auction
Agents: Jolyon Thomson & Ash Vincent

55 Greenmount Drive:
Features: 2345m² light industrial building, fully leased to long-term tenant
Rent: $240,000/year net + gst
Outcome: passed in, sold post-auction for $3.65 million at a 6.5% yield
Agents: Paul Higgins, Greg Goldfinch & Jolyon Thomson

South of the Bombays – Waikato

Hamilton

185 Victoria St:
Features: 532m² Lone Star restaurant,
Rent: $225,400/year net + gst + opex, lease to 2020, renewals to 2030
Outcome: passed in, vendor bid at $2.5 million
Agents: Mark Brunton & Justin Oliver

Attribution: Auction.

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Penlink start heads into distance as Hibiscus Coast congestion worsens

The fate of Penlink – its construction heading into the far-distant future instead of releasing constraints that are jamming an entire sub-region – is a fine example of how talking up a strategy doesn’t necessarily equate to action.

In 2013, a year after Auckland Council endorsed its Auckland Plan – the overarching regional policy & strategy document with a 30-year horizon – Penlink had an expected construction start of July 2016 for an opening in 2019. Then the start date slipped back 2 years and, this year, council long-term financial plans were slashed.

Map of the Penlink route.

Map of the Penlink route.

Penlink – otherwise known as the Weiti crossing, the 7km of road & bridge linking the Whangaparaoa Peninsula to State Highway 1 at Dairy Flat – moved back into the never-never as work began on new subdivisions at Gulf Harbour, Stanmore Bay & Red Beach, and development continues apace at Millwater, between the peninsula & the highway.

Traffic leaving the peninsula hits a traffic jam at Red Beach at 6am weekdays – 40km north of Auckland’s central business district.

Auckland Transport has consent to develop a 2-lane Penlink, but the project is now in the council’s 2025-35 financial timeframe and the council-controlled transport arm has applied to widen it to 4 lanes. To give certainty to the project, if not the precise timing, this involves seeking a 20-year extension to the lapse period for its notice of requirement, a 20-year duration for the resource consents and a 35-year duration & 20-year lapse period for the operational consents.

The hearing began before commissioners Dave Serjeant (chair), Bill Kapea, Michael Parsonson & Cherie Lane yesterday, will continue until tomorrow, then resume in a fortnight for a closing.

Auckland Transport counsel Andrew Beatson told the hearing panel yesterday the wider road was necessary because of the 40% increase in people relying on the Hibiscus Coast Highway (leading to the peninsula) over the last 12 years.

“This residential growth has not been matched by commercial growth, which has resulted in a high proportion of residents relying on daily trips out of the area. This has resulted in significant congestion and therefore poor travel times & journey reliability along both Whangaparaoa Rd & Hibiscus Coast Highway. The route also has poor provision for multi-modal services as, while there are existing bus services, these are unreliable due to congestion.”

Mr Beatson said alternatives didn’t match a 4-lane Penlink – 2 lanes on Penlink plus widening Whangaparaoa Rd to 4 lanes would affect 780 properties but still wouldn’t alleviate pressure on the Hibiscus Coast Highway & Silverdale interchange, while buses would be caught in the slow traffic.

And, while the whole Hibiscus Coast is a growth area, submitters told the panel in written submissions yesterday they struggled to get approval for development as Auckland Transport opposed anything that would worsen congestion.

Asher Davidson, counsel for 3 submitters which own land just south of Silverdale – Silverdale Golf Range Ltd, LM Painton Estate & Runwild Trust – said they wanted a shorter lapse period, a maximum 10 years. He said the constraint on traffic while Penlink remained unbuilt severely limited what they could do on their land: “Penlink has the durect effect of unlocking otherwise appropriate & much needed development within the Silverdale area.

Emma Bayly, counsel for Weiti Forest owner Hugh Green Ltd, said it had a 359ha landholding next to the notice of requirement route where, with a zone change, up to 2000 houses could be built. The company was concerned at what access it might have to the Penlink route.

Note: I live on the peninsula, but for many years thought early provision of alternatives would negate the need for Penlink. While the alternatives have been less fruitful than anticipated, continued construction of housing without improving access means congestion can only worsen.

Image above: Auckland Transport impression of the 2-lane Penlink.

Attribution: Hearing submissions.

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Metlifecare buys 5ha of Red Beach golfcourse for new retirement village

Metlifecare Ltd has conditionally bought 5ha of the Peninsula golfcourse for its second retirement village at Red Beach.

The golf club has sold the 45ha Red Beach course for residential subdivision and is moving to a new course at Wainui.

Metlifecare chief executive Alan Edwards said today the company planned a $150 million project on its 5ha, subject to due diligence (including feasibility) and obtaining resource consent, and the vendor obtaining subdivision consent.

Assuming satisfaction of these conditions and of related consents, Mr Edwards said the company expected to have resource consent by December, enabling development of the site to start in 2017. It would be Metlifecare’s 15th Auckland village and 26th nationally.

Metlifecare bought its first Red Beach village, Hibiscus Coast Village, in 2011 from Retirement Villages Group Ltd. It’s on a 6ha site at the corner of Whangaparaoa Rd & Red Beach Rd. The new village would be across the old golfcourse on the Hibiscus Coast Highway, over the road from the 3000-house Millwater subdivision.

A third, 27-unit village on this large block at the start of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Northhaven, is owned by Bupa Care Services NZ Ltd, which also owns the adjoining Northhaven Care Home.

Mr Edwards said Metlifecare’s new village would contain a range of one-, 2- & 3-bedroom independent living options & care beds. The community facilities would include a swimming pool, gym, café & bowling green.

“Importantly, the acquisition supports growth in Metlifecare’s development pipeline. The pipeline will comprise in excess of 1350 units & beds, depending on the final design & consenting process for the new Red Beach village.

Attribution: Company release.

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Unco-ordinated expansion thrives – take Silverdale for example

The Hibiscus Coast has to have the most unco-ordinated expansion ever devised.

[Photo shows traffic heading south down Silverdale Hill, entry to the industrial area a sharp left at the bottom.]

Between Orewa and the Silverdale motorway ramps, over the last 5 years retail developments have popped up along the western side of the old Hibiscus Coast Highway, another on the eastern side. Yet another retail/trade supply development (PlaceMakers) is about to open just off the highway, at one of the 2 entrances to the Silverdale industrial area.

And in the middle of all this growth, business owners in the industrial area called again last week to get their own set of traffic lights.

Everybody else has them – they seem easy to approve & erect for new retail developments, and the new park & ride just off the motorway ramps has a set.

Silverdale was split in half in the 1950s when a straight road was constructed up the hill to Orewa. The old winding road through the village remains, but exiting to travel south now requires a circuitous journey past all the newer retail precincts at the top of the hill.

Entering the industrial area from the south requires a turn across 2 lanes of traffic coming down the hill, speed limit 80km/h, or a turn on to the start of East Coast Rd followed by another turn 100m up that slope.

The Rodney District Council, which ceased to exist in 2010, approved $1.2 million of funding for the traffic lights to the industrial area through Tavern Rd, but Auckland Transport is concerned at the danger of lights at the foot of a steep hill. The NZ Transport Agency handed possession of the old highway to the Auckland Council-controlled Auckland Transport 18 months ago.

At the council’s infrastructure committee meeting last week, Hibiscus & Bays Local Board chairwoman Julia Parfitt supported Silverdale Business Association president Lorraine Sampson in her quest for traffic lights.

Ward councillor Wayne Walker, however, argued against a set of lights for the industrial area: “I understand there’s an issue, but there are tens of thousands of people on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula who would be inconvenienced by another set of lights.

“Has any thought been given to locating a set of post office boxes over the other side in the industrial area, without creating the inconvenience? I do appreciate there are issues around the trucks & the like, but have you made your people aware of the Auckland Transport report about trucks stopping at the bottom of the hill and accidents?

“We’ve got a number of distinct areas – the industrial, which is limited & discrete; secondly, the old Silverdale commercial area, which is in decline; and the new centre up by Millwater, and that’s a retail centre; and then in terms of jobs & growth we’ve got the new commercial area (4600 jobs) in the knowledge economy area – the motorway ramps are coming on stream this year.

“If we look at the overall concept and the need to separate industrial vehicles from pedestrians & cars & cyclists, does it not make sense not to have another set of lights at Tavern Rd?”

Mrs Sampson said having a new set of traffic lights at the top of the hill, on Wainui Rd, as Auckland Transport proposed, would help the new Millwater retailers but wouldn’t help the industrial area. Mrs Parfitt said a precinct plan was needed, but the council budget had no funding for that.

Letters from 3 industrial area business owners show the extent of their difficulty. One, Kelvin Neville of transport company Neville Brothers Ltd, took his depot to Dairy Flat as his fleet of trucks faced ever-increasing problems negotiating Silverdale’s road network.

The other 2, Graeme Carter of Herman Pacific Ltd and Eddie Grooten of Dad’s Pies Ltd, have about 70 employees each and Mr Carter estimated 20 30-tonne truck & trailer rigs/week brought supplies into the cedar specialist, which kiln-dries timber at its 3.6ha Silverdale site. All up, he estimated the company would have up to 150 heavy vehicle movements/week.

Mr Grooten said the entry to the industrial area, from East Coast Rd through Forge Rd, “is designed for accidents to happen”. For staff to cross the old highway to visit the village was a 5km round trip.

Up at the start of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, planning commissioners who approved development of 520 homes on the Peninsula Golf Club’s 45ha last year set a limit on how many of those houses could be built before the new Wainui ramp to State Highway 1 is constructed to the west of Silverdale. That ramp is expected to substantially reduce traffic through the old Silverdale area, but more lanes on the peninsula road will still be needed to ease that bottleneck.

Silverdale is a part of rural Auckland that’s been swamped by residential growth on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and more recently at Orewa & Millwater. The Rodney council worked on plans to encourage jobs in the area, creating the knowledge economy zone for that purpose. However, decentralisation of business ceased to be a priority when the super-city was created in 2010, and Mrs Parfitt told the council committee last week 2 of the developers in the knowledge economy zone now want to build houses.

The area has become urban, but with haphazard access. In the wave of enthusiasm for building houses, made easier by central government pressure, short-term construction jobs will be created but long-term business development will suffer.

The old Rodney council developed plans for segments of the Hibiscus Coast which have been overtaken by the competition between retail giants, making a mockery of evolutionary planning. Meanwhile, the decades-long argument over one set of traffic lights – when others are installed almost on a whim – shows it’s not easy for sense to prevail.

The Hibiscus Coast – and probably other peripheral areas – will require a complete new examination to enable better access, more local jobs, sensible community development. But the rules of combat don’t favour that while change is led by individual planning applications and the role of local boards in the political structure remains uncertain, weak & dictated by a centralist council.

Attribution: Council committee meeting.

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PlaceMakers peninsula branch joins flight to Silverdale in 3 weeks

Fletcher Building Ltd’s merchant business, PlaceMakers, will close its Whangaparaoa Peninsula store on 28 March to join the flow of retail to Silverdale, 8km away.

The Whangaparaoa Rd store & yard were the main hardware & timber supplier on the Hibiscus Coast for most of the last 50 years, operating for many years as Great Northern Merchants until the big-chain contest saw both PlaceMakers & Mitre 10 enter the market.

Bunnings was the first of the chains to move into Silverdale, where there are now about 8 distinct retail precincts, starting with Bunnings & Pak ‘N Save off the State Highway 1 ramp before the old Silverdale Village. Countdown & The Warehouse are the anchors for one of 3 precincts up the hill from the village, running through to the peninsula turn-off.

PlaceMakers will open its new 8000m² branch, on the corner of East Coast Bays & Tavern Rds, on Monday 31 March. Its undercover drive-through area is 8 times the size of the existing Whangaparaoa store’s and the total yard covers 2700m².

Attribution: Company release.

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