In 2007 Equinox funded a developer to purchase various blocks of land on Orakei Road adjacent to the Orakei Rail Station. In 2009, as a result of the recession, Equinox took over the site. Prior to this, in 2007, Auckland City Council as it then was, introduced the idea of this land (along with some of their own) becoming a world class high quality Transport Orientated Development. During 2008 to 2013 after extensive community and technical consultation Auckland Council’s own Plan Change 260 for the re-zoning of land was signed off in the Environment Court. We feel that a prime 5 hectare piece of land with no neighbours who own property in the vicinity should not take 5 years to get a green light but that is a story for another day.
In late 2015 after Equinox had sold $100m of apartments it was clear that the new Auckland Council and the new Auckland Transport weren’t going to proceed with previous agreements and arrangements and Equinox was forced to cancel sales and cancel the Orakei Bay Village project consisting of 500 apartments, 10,000 sq m2 of retail, a new train station and the various parks and plaza’s that were planned and specified in council’s own plan change. Again that it is 10 part mini series for another day, however we now know that with any dealings one has with Auckland Council one shouldn’t have too higher expectations.
So now it’s 2016, we still own a prime piece of land and Councils notorious Unitary Plan process is underway. The dominant view at these hearings is to maintain the old Plan Change 260 layout even though they know other divisions in Council can’t and won’t support the project designed for this being constructed. We hope that a sense will prevail and Council will support the bulk, height, traffic and acoustic issues of Plan Change 260 that were so rigorously debated over a 5 year period. However, once again “when dealing with Council have no expectations” is our new motto.
– Now imagine a drum roll and a shower of paper confetti floats from the ceiling –
Orakei Bay Village is reincarnated! Instead of leaving the buildings to rot (and become a target of vandalism) we are re-retailing , re-gentrifying and refurbishing the old Jacobsen retail space into new retail spaces. We already have a fine wine store, coffee roastery and cafe and the artHAUS creative collective taking up occupancy shortly and are on the look out for new, stylish tenants looking for a 6 year lease in a very cool high stud industrial space.
With amazing city and Hobson Bay views, located next to the new cycleway, the Orakei rail station, and one short stop to the CBD, this high traffic flow area is going to be an exciting new addition to an area seriously lacking in retail goodness!