Catalina Bay Hobsonville Point apartments: Construction starts on 82-unit $150 million development

The need to preserve a view shaft between a playground to the top of a hill resulted in Willis Bond changing the design of its 82-unit $150 million waterfront Catalina Bay apartments.

Dave McGuinness, managing director of the development arm, said the cutout or U-shape between the six and 10-level towers at Hobsonville Point was to comply with planning regulations.

“It was quite a significant consenting challenge,” he told about 100 guests from the site yesterday.

“We had to put an axe through the middle of the building. We thought it was the death knell for the project,” McGuinness said, referring to the design by Patrick Clifford, of Architectus.

Deposits have been taken on about 75 per cent of the units which sold from $645,000 to $4m. Some places around the $985,000 mark remain for sale.

Willis Bond advertised one-bedroom apartments and a carpark for $795,000, two-bedroom apartments with carparks from $1,495,000, and three bedrooms and penthouse units by appointment.

Discussions about the units date as far back as 2013. McGuinness said Covid had delayed progress. Initial concepts were for a taller tower of 15 levels. Initial concept plans were drawn up in 2015.

“We launched two years ago. Covid 1 hit. The market had been quite challenging.”

McGuinness said the construction contract with related party L.T. McGuiness was around $85m to $90m.

His uncle, Mark McGuinness, was at yesterday’s launch along with Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson and Mark Fraser, Kāinga Ora’s general manager of urban development and delivery.

Clifford said climate change and rising sea levels had been taken account of in planning the waterfront scheme. McGuiness acknowledged the apartments were planned to be built on reclaimed land.

The 128 carparks will be tucked into podium levels to avoid underground excavation.
McGuiness said 51 piles would be sunk 15m down to develop the two blocks.

He called the site “the jewel in the crown”.

“It took us a while to be convinced that living on the water was a good idea but the penny dropped”.

The project is due to be finished in early 2024.

Just above the new Willis Bond site, Winton Land is advanced with its apartment tower being built by Kalmar Construction: Ovation Apartments at Launch Bay. Units there started at $1.7m.

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