Panuku, Auckland Council’s development arm, has again turned to private development firm Willis Bond for its latest property venture – a residential, office and retail precinct spanning almost a hectare of prime Takapuna real estate.

The development, Takapuna Central, will eventually span five sites between 40 Anzac St and 30-34 Hurstmere Rd, centred around the newly developed Waiwharariki Anzac Square. 

Panuku said it has already kicked into the groundwork on the square and expects the overall construction timeline for the wider development to be about six years.  

The total capital value of the project is expected to be $400 million. 

However, no further terms of the property transaction were disclosed in a deal that will see a combined 9,050 square metres of land, including the former Anzac St car park, change hands.

Willis Bond managing director Mark McGuinness said the agreement with Panuku was effectively designed as a partnership to deliver high-quality buildings with “cohesive” urban design at front of mind.

Current land values of the sites are listed by the Auckland Council at $37.3m. 

The first stage, a 115-unit – Takapuna Central Apartments, is situated on a 2,760 sqm site fronting Anzac St and adjacent to Potters Park. 

Construction of the complex, which will offer a range of apartments from one-bedroom to three-bedroom penthouses, is expected to commence in late 2023. It will also include about 500 sqm of retail space.

Getting the band back together

The development reunites Auckland architect firm Architectus and family-owned builders LT McGuinness. Both have worked with Willis Bond on its Catalina Bay apartments in Hobsonville Point and on its more ambitious urban regeneration project at the Wynyard Quarter.

Willis Bond was appointed preferred developer on that 3.5ha Auckland waterfront project in 2014.

To date, it has completed its 113-unit Wynyard Central as well as the 51-apartment block at 32 Halsey St with a combined capital cost of $330m. 

It is currently putting the finishing touches on its 150-unit and $270m apartment and townhouse development at 30 Madden St. 

McGuinness said the goal with the Takapuna development, as with other Willis Bond work, is to “connect the dots and create a desirable living environment for visitors and residents alike”.

Kate Cumberpatch, Panuku's priority location director for the northern part of the city, said the goal was to unlock the "huge potential" of Takapuna. 

The development of the Waiwharariki Square, contracted to John Fillmore Contracting, will play an important role in strengthening connections within Takapuna and through to the beach.

The square development also follows the opening of the Toka Puia car park which opened in December 2020.