Seven years after it was first put before the public, Manly Village is again looking at construction of a retail and apartment development that will dominate its skyline.
Located on a prominent 1447sqm corner site on a ridgeline, the building has been redesigned but its footprint, bulk and scale are no different from the version that caused strenuous community opposition in 2008-09.
The impact of a modern five-storey complex covering such a large site will be enormous in a shopping area that is currently a mix of one and two-storey older buildings, and it will also have an effect on nearby homes.
Those are among the reasons why the development at 60–62 Rawhiti Road was controversial from the moment its resource consent application was made public in Hibiscus Matters in March 2008.
A record number of submissions – more than 550 – were made on that application, with 83 percent opposed, and hundreds attended a public meeting about the proposed development. A number of local businesses fought the proposal and a community group of around 70 people formed just to oppose its construction, raising issues such as impact on the ‘village character’ of the shopping precinct, visual dominance and shading.
Resource consent was eventually granted in 2009 and amended in 2013.
Developer Mark Pepers, director of Manly Ridge Apartments Ltd (incorporated four months ago), says he is in the process of purchasing the block from current owner Lawrence Stanaway of KBL (2013) Ltd.
Avery Team Architects designed the new-look building, which is called Manly Ridge Apartments.
Apartments were put on the market for sale off the plans on July 26. Salesperson Ross McAlpine says interest has been high, and there are already contracts in place on several apartments. He says there has been positive feedback, particularly from locals, that this is an exciting development for the Hibiscus Coast.
“Many locals feel this building will be an asset to the community in terms of the quality of build and the exciting retail and client base the building has attracted,” Mr McAlpine says.
The complex features eight retail shops, 24 two-bedroom apartments (for which prices start at $699,000) and two penthouse apartments (most expensive $2.5million) as well as 42 car parks. Sales material describes the building as designed to compliment its natural surroundings, with a large range of materials used to break up the bulk of the building. It also points out that the top two levels have been recessed for less shading impact on nearby homes and shops.
A basement car park that was in the earlier design has been removed and this has considerably reduced the amount of earthworks required from around 4350m3 to 1450m3. The amended resource consent states that the reduction in both the number of apartments (by three) and the size of the retail space (from 702sqm to 632sqm) will lessen potential effects on infrastructure and the impact on the local road network.
Manly Care Chemist owner Tania Adams, whose business is on the opposite side of the street from the site, was among the most vocal opponents of the original proposal.
She says she appreciates that visually the new design is an improvement over what was proposed in 2008 and that the current building on the site needs replacing. However, she says that the issues her business will face when the new complex is built are the same. “We will be completely in shadow,” she says.
Building the complex requires demolition of the seven shops on the site. One of those businesses is House of Travel, and owner Dennis Payne says he moved in last year with eyes wide open, knowing a demolition clause was in his lease. He says the replacement modern stores will be an improvement worth waiting for. Businesses will be given six months notice of demolition.
Mr McAlpine says the developer plans to sell the apartments over the next three to six months, and expects that the project will be completed in around 18 months.