Long, hot, dry Auckland summer eases earthwork load: Site preparation for 543 units

Auckland’s long, hot dry summer is easing the load of major earthworks on big construction sites, like a $350 million North Shore apartment scheme.

Ground preparation is under way in Takapuna at a high-density 543-unit development called Amaia, meaning halo or lunar rainbow in te reo Māori.

MetService has forecast significantly hot weather in Auckland in early January which is good for earthworks specialists. It means the ground on the site of more than 2ha is drier and therefore easier to lift.

Apartments will be built on what was once a church site in the coastal marine zone beside the waterfront and near the onramps to the Northern and Southern Motorway.

KBS Capital, owned by Brilliant Stone, won approval to develop the first two of what will be three blocks on Esmonde Rd’s Harbourside church near kuaka or bar tailed godwit grounds at Shoal Bay.

Initial plans for 48 Esmonde Rd are for two seven-level blocks on the 2.1ha site.

Units of one-bedroom plus a study were advertised early last year from $789,000, two-bedroom apartments for $989,000 and three bedrooms from $1.75m.

Now, Amaia’s website carries a statement that places start from $799,000 but the developers are only requiring a 5 per cent deposit, not 10 per cent as with most other presales.

The new buildings will have 81 car parks.

A spokesperson for the developer said today: “The earthworks at 48 Esmonde Rd are under way as per the approved resource consent, which includes a number of conditions to mitigate the effects of the earthworks.

“The contractor and the project team are in regular contact with Auckland Council’s monitoring officer to make ensure the conditions are met and monitored wherever necessary. No earthworks are proposed, planned or happening within the 20m esplanade area – so the ongoing earthworks do not have any direct relationship with the coastal environment.”

The first building will have 37 one-bedroom, 32 two-bedroom, 17 three-bedroom and a 167sq m healthcare facility, 216sq m childcare centre and 470sq m for communal and retail areas.

The second eastern-facing building will mainly be visitor accommodation. It will front Esmonde Rd and will have 164 studio and 18 one-bedroom units. On the ground and first floor will be a shared lobby, reception, cafe and a restaurant. The top floor will have four two to three-bedroom penthouse apartments and a shared roof garden.

Stage three will be a further 275 units.

KBS has a display suite at 10 Northcroft St in Takapuna.

Amaia’s website offers English or Chinese language options.

Harcourts Cooper & Co says 60 per cent of units are now pre-sold.

The church site had a paid park-and-ride scheme for 102 vehicles near a bus stop on Esmonde Rd, which leads to a busway beside the motorway.

A report with the resource consent application noted extensive areas of shell banks and intertidal sand and mud in the area, forming a complex habitat for a variety of animals and plants in the area. The intertidal area is an important wading bird feeding ground.

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