Place magazine is a celebration of finding the right environment for today’s home or tomorrow’s investment, and all the personal and unique steps that each individual takes in that journey.

We showcase some of our most exciting residential projects drawn from Todd Property’s master-planned communities and apartment projects. There’s something for everyone ranging from family living, to beachside neighbourhoods and prestige apartments.

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4 Dec 2018

Ormiston Town Centre begins to take shape

One of Auckland’s fastest growing communities is about to undergo a significant transformation, with the construction of a new $200 million-plus town centre being built from scratch in southeast Auckland.

Plans have been unveiled for the Ormiston Town Centre, a newly created urban environment that will include retail stores, restaurants, a gym, movie theatres, a library, an aquatic centre, and a range of public open spaces that will connect to the neighbouring park.

“The Ormiston community is experiencing phenomenal growth, and the Town Centre is going to be a massive transformation for the area,” said Todd Property Managing Director Evan Davies. “It’s going to create an exciting new focal point for the community, and we are really excited to see it begin to take shape.”

Built on a 4.5ha site beside Barry Curtis Park, construction is now underway for the 40,000sqm Town Centre, which will include 100 retail and commercial tenants, a three-level parking structure and four major anchor tenants, including The Warehouse, a HOYTS complex, the existing PAK’nSAVE, and an additional supermarket.

Designed by NH Architecture of Melbourne and Jasmax of Auckland, the centre has a contemporary architectural design, setting it apart from traditional closed-in suburban malls, or big box retail developments. Instead, the Town Centre will integrate seamlessly into the urban landscape via streets, alleyways and public open spaces. Compact and pedestrian friendly, the centre will have a strong focus on food and entertainment, featuring a dining lane, a quality food hall, a restaurant precinct, along with an 8-cinema entertainment complex.

“Ormiston Town Centre is not just about bringing retail to the area. It’s about creating new community spaces, where people can come together to eat out or just relax with friends and family, and its location next to Barry Curtis Park makes it very unique,” Mr Davies said.

Todd Property Group is working in partnership with Auckland’s redevelopment agency Panuku to develop a 19ha site in Ormiston, which includes residential housing and the Town Centre.

Located 24 kilometres from Auckland’s CBD, about two thirds of the overall Ormiston development has either been completed or is underway, including commercial spaces and 63 terraced homes, with another 66 under construction. The area has proved popular with families, with houses currently selling for between $650,000 and $950,000, depending on their size.

Panuku Chief Executive Roger MacDonald said: “This is about taking a greenfield site and turning it into an entirely new master planned community. In time, Ormiston could provide a blue print for how we take other townships in Auckland forward to provide for the growing population.”

Historically a dairy farming community, the population of Ormiston is predicted to balloon by 36,000 between 2013 and 2028 – the size of a town like Gisborne.

Howick Local Board Chairman David Collings said community facilities were a priority for the Ormiston and Flat Bush communities, with a new library planned for the Town Centre and an aquatic centre, along with a variety of transport options, including cycle ways and bus facilities.

Built by Scarbro Construction and Savory Construction, the Ormiston Town Centre is expected to open in 2020.

3 Sep 2018

Apartments: Who’s Buying Them and Why? Part 3 of 3. Investors

As more people snap up apartments, we look at the reasons why.

In New Zealand main centres, apartment living is a fast-growing trend, particularly for baby boomers. The pull towards the convenient locations and urban, cosmopolitan lifestyle that apartment living offers are taking priority over home size, contributing to some of the factors
driving the shift.

The benefits are easily visible with security, shared facilities, sociability and ‘a less is more’ lifestyle.

Over the past decade, there’s been a significant rethink of cultural ideals as to what constitutes a Kiwi home. Driven by rising property prices and a changing employment landscape, the transition from house to apartment is one that’s gaining momentum.
It’s a mix of ‘downsizers’, first-home buyers, and investors that are leading the charge and inspiring other Kiwis to rethink their approach to home ownership. In this series, we profile three apartment buyer types.

Purchasing an apartment as an investment is a popular choice, driven in part by rising house prices, population growth and an increasing number of people seeking an urban lifestyle. Good quality rentals are in demand.

As with any property purchase, it’s important to do your homework. As an investor, is the apartment somewhere you may one day live or is it purely an investment? If you’re purchasing with a view for renting, then remaining as objective as possible is important. Your decisions should be driven by what a prospective tenant will be looking for.

Buying a new apartment, rather than an existing one, means you’ll be less likely to spend time maintaining the property. Additionally since 2005, the new building code means that apartments are more robust, with more space and better amenities.

Choosing to purchase your apartment off the plans means that if you get in early, you’ll be able to secure your preferred location and layout in the development.

Apartments on higher levels provide better views, whilst ground floor apartments often appeal to families with children or an older, less mobile demographic. These are all important factors in determining the rental income.

Avoid investing in an apartment building or development that has a high number of similar units. This could lead to an over-supply, which may affect the rental value of your property. By investing in a smaller development, you’re more likely to attract good tenants. If possible when purchasing, ask for a break-down of owner–occupiers and investors in the building. It’s best to purchase in a building where most apartments are occupied by owners.

New apartment developments in quality suburban locations are worthy of consideration, especially if there is nothing else comparable in the area.

21 Aug 2018

Building a New Road, Concept to Construction

Most of us give the roads we drive on little thought, but each one has followed a rigorous process to ensure they are safe for us to travel
on. So what does the construction of a new road involve? How does a proposed new road go from planning and design, to construction and opening? Here's a guide to the basics:

The first step is to work out whether a new road is feasible. To determine this, a site investigation is carried out to assess existing land use and the nature of what lies beneath the proposed new road.
Information gathered from historical records and a range of experts help to determine what is under the land and whether any significant fault lines are present. Once all the available information is gathered, further investigations are undertaken as necessary. For example, a site may require an archaeological excavation to recover historical and cultural artefacts.

A thorough assessment is conducted to ensure that the site can accommodate a new road. This also identifies any problems, the need for alternative routes, the costs involved and the stability of the ground.

Once site investigation has been completed, a team of experts are tasked with the preliminary design. This stage focuses on the location of the road, the benefits to the existing road network and any environmental impact.

In New Zealand, all new roads must adhere to the Resource Management Act. This piece of legislation governs the management of natural and physical resources such as land, air and water. The Act is responsible for protecting the environment and ensuring that any new project is sustainable.

The development of a new road must therefore pay significant attention to any potential impacts on natural resources. A large part of the preliminary design outlines any environmental impacts and the ways in which these will be managed. Ideally, a new road should work with the natural environment and be designed with sustainability in mind.

The preliminary design must also detail storm water drainage and consider the need for public transport access, cycle ways and paths.

All risks and benefits of building on the proposed site must be detailed. Alternative routes may also be identified and included if planners foresee any potential problems with the preferred route.

When the preliminary design work is completed, plans are submitted to the relevant authorities
for consideration. Key stakeholders, such as
residents, iwi and local boards are consulted on the development before the new road gets the go ahead.

Pre-construction work is one of the most fundamental components of building a new road. Much like a house needs solid foundations, so too does a road.

During pre-construction, the site is prepared for the final construction stage. Excavation of the site can include both the removal of dirt and the filling of any areas that need to be built up and leveled. Roads require a substantial foundation, which is why the base layers are as important as the finished surface.

During pre-construction, storm water drainage is installed and any utility works are undertaken.
Upon completion, all pre-construction work must undergo strict inspections to ensure the highest possible safety standards have been adhered to, and to identify any potential problems.

Road surfacing, marking, pathways and landscaping are all part of the final construction stage. In New Zealand, the type of surface laid depends upon various factors such as noise reduction, consideration of using recycled materials and the best surfacing for the type of road. Other considerations may include the volume of traffic on the surface and how much maintenance will be required.

Glenvar Ridge Road is a new road, currently in the final stages of construction, that will connect the existing transport network with the urban development in
Long Bay. This road has been developed by Todd Property Group in collaboration with local authorities to provide a direct route into and out of the area. “The bulk of the Glenvar Ridge Road surface is a stabilising base layer of lime and cement, mixed with natural clay soil, which is around 300mm deep. The middle layer is composed of lime and coarse materials up to 500mm deep. Approximately 50mm of asphalt will form the final top surface,” said Paul Armstrong, Todd Property Development Manager.

During the final construction of a new road everything must be thoroughly tested; from the shape of the road to its strength, every detail must meet strict criteria. When construction is complete, the road must pass a safety audit before it is finally opened to the public.

PROPOSED NAMES for a new road are often submitted early in the planning process. Submitting a list of suggested names means it’s more likely that one or more will be approved
and developers typically allow plenty of time for consideration by relevant stakeholders.
The naming of a road must adhere to an extensive list of rules. For example, in Auckland, road names must be easy to pronounce, spell and write. They are limited to three words (or 25 characters), except in the case of Te Reo names.

A road name must not be considered offensive, racist, derogatory or demeaning, even when translated into another language. Some roads, such as those with five or less addresses, do not need to be named if numbering can be continued from an adjoining road.

Certain punctuation cannot be used in a road name such as a full stop, comma, colon, semi-colon, quotation marks, hyphens or others. Only characters from a standard alphabet can be used, although macrons can be used for Maori names.

Road-naming reports are prepared and submitted to local boards for consideration.
After discussion and consultation, the relevant authority will make a final decision.

9 Aug 2018

Apartments: Who’s Buying Them and Why? Part 2 of 3. First Home Buyers

As more people snap up apartments, we look at the reasons why.

In New Zealand main centres, apartment living is a fast-growing trend, particularly for baby boomers. The pull towards the convenient locations and urban, cosmopolitan lifestyle that apartment living offers are taking priority over home size, contributing to some of the factors
driving the shift.

The benefits are easily visible with security, shared facilities, sociability and ‘a less is more’ lifestyle.

Over the past decade, there’s been a significant rethink of cultural ideals as to what constitutes a Kiwi home. Driven by rising property prices and a changing employment landscape, the transition from house to apartment is one that’s gaining momentum.
It’s a mix of ‘downsizers’, first-home buyers, and investors that are leading the charge and inspiring other Kiwis to rethink their approach to home ownership. In this series, we profile three apartment buyer types.

Many first-home buyers are now opting for apartments.

The trend is strongest in Auckland where people are keen to get a foot on the property ladder, without overextending themselves or moving too far from the city. Some first-home buyers start off with their sights firmly set on a house in city-fringe suburbs, only to find themselves in a never-ending cycle of open homes and auctions. That’s largely because the concept of an apartment as being city-bound, noisy and cramped is  outdated. High-quality, spacious apartments are now being  developed with the needs of a range of buyers in mind: sustainability, tranquility, green space and good amenities, to name a few. 

Regardless of age, first-home buyers are looking for apartments with an easy commute to work. They’re seeking apartments that provide refuge from the daily grind with a lifestyle that’s relaxed and laid back. Minimising risk is essential for any purchaser, but for first-home buyers, even more so. That’s why buying an apartment in a development that is already partially established is a safe option. 

The apartments at Stonefields are a popular choice for
first-time buyers where five separate apartment buildings have been built: Saltus, Altera, ilico, Verto and Bellus. When Verto apartments were launched in 2015, 90% sold within two weeks. Many first-home buyers queued up on the first day that sales commenced—having been privy to the ongoing development of Stonefields; buyer confidence was high and many had already discerned the high construction quality and finish of apartments that had previously been completed.

31 Jul 2018

Contemporary Living - Terrace Style

WHEN LANA AND MAX PEARCE decided to downsize from their stand-alone home in Auckland’s Half Moon Bay, they chose to purchase a terraced home in one of the city’s largest master-planned communities.

“Stonefields was the ideal location for us and our first port of call when we decided to sell up in Half Moon Bay. We had been considering a terraced home, but Max was a little hesitant about whether we’d hear lots of noise from our neighbours,” said Lana.

After a few visits to their first property, they were surprised to find that the high-quality build and soundproofing meant no noise could be heard from the adjoining properties; the terraced house was just as peaceful as their stand-alone home. That sold the couple, who have fallen in love with the terraced lifestyle and all it has to offer. They moved into their fourth terraced home at Stonefields a year ago and have already put their mark on the spacious property.

Whilst the definition of a terraced house varies slightly depending on what part of the world you’re in, New Zealand has design guidelines. A terraced house can either be semi-detached, sharing one wall only with the house next door, or linked where both side walls may be adjoining.

The terraced homes at Stonefields have been designed to optimise natural sun and light. Best practice for parking and vehicle access was also part of the planning to ensure that cars don’t visually dominate the street or access to the entranceway. The incorporation of garages makes for a more appealing streetscape.

The well-designed home spans three levels. On the ground floor is the main entrance, a media room and a tandem garage, from which you can also access the house.
The first floor is where the couple spends most of their time in the open-plan lounge, dining and kitchen area.

“There’s a lovely feeling of space,” said Lana. “We’ve kept it light and airy with neutral colours, but we’ve also injected some creativity with a few standout design ideas.” Take for example, the stunning feature wall in the living area, wallpapered with a striking black and white striped pattern. It breaks up the neutrals without overpowering the space.

There is also an office and bathroom on the first floor meaning the couple have almost everything they need on one level. Upstairs, on the second floor, are four generous bedrooms, including a master with ensuite and a beautiful view of nearby Mount Wellington.

Both Lana and Max are design and DIY aficionados who enjoy browsing home and furniture stores to find new ideas for both design and décor. You’ll also find them browsing through books and magazines for creative ideas that will work both in-and outdoors.

As keen gardeners, they’ve been busy since the spring, landscaping their outdoor area and designing their ultimate urban garden. “There’s certainly been plenty to do in the outdoor space,” said Lana. “When we first downsized, we knew that we would have a smaller garden, but it’s very spacious. It’s incredible how much you can do with an urban garden—the opportunities are unlimited.”

So far, the couple have extended the decks, laid stone pavers in sections of the garden and established a vegetable patch. They’ve also planted ferns and lilly pillys to add depth and structure. Plans to add a water feature are already underway.

When they’re not in the garden, Lana and Max make the most of the greenspace at Stonefields. Molly, their West Highland dog gets treated to a one-hour walk each day. “We love the greenspace and like having all the amenities close by,” said Lana, “it’s a big part of why we chose this location.”