Auckland development company KBS Capital Ltd (Liu Wei & Xin Xu) said on Tuesday it was seeking resource consent to create a new-generation mixed-use urban village destination, Amaia, on the site of the former Harbourside Church beside Shoal Bay.
The company bought the 2.1ha site at 48 Esmonde Rd from Harbourside Church for $40 million in 2019 and said its total investment to realise the potential of the site would exceed $350 million. It proposes developing about 230 apartments.
The company said: “The elevated site with harbour frontage on 3 sides presents a unique opportunity to create a new harbourfront community with breathtaking views of Auckland Harbour, Harbour Bridge & city.
“The developers plan to realise the potential of this harbourfront site, contribute to the local economy, deliver new-generation urban & environmental design, open up access to the community and promote sustainable transport.”
KBS expects to take 5 years for the development, creating 250 jobs.
In the first stage, it envisages offering managed hotel-style short-term accommodation containing units facing both east & west.
The second stage includes 3 buildings with a range of apartment options designed to appeal to have wide appeal – first-homebuyers, downsizers, Kiwis returning from overseas, couples, young families & singles.
KBS will launch pre-sales in October.
The coastal environment
In its announcement on Tuesday, KBS focused on its changes to the coastal environment & access as much as on the housing.
“A 7000m² public green reserve around the seafront perimeter will open up this unique waterfront setting to the wider community. The coastal perimeter ngahere, or urban forest, will be rejuvenated & rewilded. Existing native plants on the site will be protected, including established pohutukawa.”
The company said it wanted to fast-track cycle & walkway projects, such as the Francis St-Esmonde Rd cycle & walkway, among other traffic measures.
Project consultant Dean Kimpton said: “The Amaia development will make living on Auckland’s harbourfront more accessible to more people and promote sustainable transport, environmental design & community access.”
KBS is working architectural firm Jasmax Ltd on both the building & overall site designs.
Jasmax Ltd development lead Alistair Ray said: “The island nature of the site presents an opportunity to design a group of buildings viewed from all directions requiring a high quality architectural response. The result is a group of buildings of varying heights in a village form sympathetic to the geography, enhancing the site’s unique outlook and responding to the coastal ecosystems. The strategic location of the site can be enjoyed by the wider community whilst promoting sustainable transportation.
“The complex will offer a range of amenities & shared spaces that will form an urban harbour village. Various amenities on the lower levels will be open to the wider public, with a beautiful plaza connecting the entranceways, residences & communal open spaces.”
KBS, Kimpton & Jasmax
KBS’s other companies associated with the project are Brilliant Stone Ltd & Golden Coast International Group Ltd. KBS developed Hobson Green, on the border of Hobsonville Point. It contains a mix of terraced, duplex & standalone homes plus a new commercial & retail neighbourhood centre.
Mr Kimpton spent 21 years at Aecom NZ Ltd (ex-Worley, Meritec & Maunsell), finishing as managing director before joining Auckland Council in 2013 as chief operating officer. He left the council a year ago to set up his own consultancy, Tuhura Consulting Ltd.
Mr Ray joined Jasmax in 2008 to head its new urban design & masterplanning team. He has sat on a number of working groups advising Auckland Council on strategic urban planning & design issues, including the Auckland plan, the unitary plan & the Auckland Design Manual. He chairs the national Urban Design Forum, the Hobsonville Point Design Review Panel & the Auckland Urban Design Panel, and taught urban design through Auckland University’s masters in urban design course for almost 10 years.
Attribution: KBS release.