Melview Developments Ltd (Nigel McKenna) launched its draft masterplan for the Flat Bush town centre for public feedback last week, in concert with council company Tomorrow’s Manukau Properties Ltd.
The feedback process isn’t statutory, more a case of ensuring wider input to get a better design. And the masterplan remains flexible – a work in progress, as Mr McKenna put it.
Melview signed an agreement to implement the Manukau City Council’s vision for Flat Bush in September 2007, a year after the council sought expressions of interest. The outcome, when completed in about 2020, will be a very mixed town centre with an end value exceeding $1 billion.
The central feature of the design is, first, what it is not. It’s not a shopping centre with add-ons, which is the normal New Zealand developer starting point for anything of this nature.
Mr McKenna said Melview began with a large research exercise, bringing in planning & analytical company Hill Young Cooper first, then calling on Jones Lang LaSalle’s research on the residential & office sectors and Retail Consulting Group on retail.
Among the statistics: The Flat Bush area’s population will grow from 16,000 to 69,000 over the 20 years to 2026, the average household occupancy is 3.6 persons:dwelling and the area will need an extra 18,000 homes to be built by 2026. The city is expected to need 1500 new homes/year over the next 10 years, and Flat Bush will account for a quarter of them.
It was apparent that the Highbrook Business Park being developed by the Goodman Group, and subdivisions around the airport at Mangere, were likely to provide the bulk of office needs during Flat Bush’s development period. So Flat Bush was seen as having boutique offices and the live/work/play concept would be encouraged.
“The other thing we want to explore is the green office environment,” Mr McKenna said. “It sits in a regional park setting (the 94ha Barry Curtis Park), and 100 years from now that will be like the Domain is to central Auckland.”
The masterplan has been drawn to incorporate the park setting, with streets & outlooks linking to it. The town centre covers 20ha, in the middle of the 1700ha Flat Bush district east of the Manukau City Centre.
I’ll have more detail on the masterplan concept tomorrow. Meantime, Mr McKenna said: “In the current market, we don’t anticipate breaking ground for another 2 years. And the timeframe is a little bit market-dependent, about 5-8 years from commencement, but it will not start before 2011.
“A project like this can not happen really quickly. It’s too big & too hard.”
Melview’s biggest project, started before the council awarded the company this one, is the Kawarau Falls Station resort outside Qeenstown.
31 October 2008: Flat Bush masterplan unveiled on 13 November
19 April 2008: Melview signs up Quay West Resort for Kawarau Falls
7 October 2007: Manukau signs Melview up for Flat Bush
1 August 2007: Melview lodges plan for McArthur Ridge
2 August 2006: McKenna launches The Quadrant hotel brand
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Attribution: Presentation, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.