88 Broadway

Late last year we saw designs for a development over the Newmarket rail junction making use of an otherwise empty space (other than the trains) and also providing a second a crucial northern connection to the Newmarket station. It contained a mix of retail, residential and commercial space based around a pedestrian lane and public space. In my mind the proposal wasn’t perfect, especially with how the connection to the train station was relegated to a back alleyway and many didn’t like the architecture but it did seem to be a decent example of the type of development we should be aiming for.

The old plan

The old plan

However disappointingly the developers now appear to have thrown that plan out and are going to market with a new one that in my mind is considerably worse. The plan now seems to have morphed into one that is almost exclusively about apartments set in a gated community. Here is the marketing spiel.

With excellent access and an exciting offering of retail and residential accommodation, 88 Broadway will attract visitors from a wide catchment across the Auckland region.

Benefiting from excellent public transport links providing connections to the city centre, West Auckland and South Auckland, 88 is uniquely placed adjacent to the Newmarket train station and link bus network. Both run regular services to the CBD, Mt Eden and further south.

88 Broadway is centered around public transport, with a pedestrian connection to the northern concourse of the train station and bus stops at the Broadway entrance. Making access simple and easy for getting to work or university and for all visitors to 88 Broadway is something we have considered very carefully here.

Served by good motorway access with nearby connections to the Northern, Southern and Western motorways, 88 is also on the bus route to the airport. There is plenty of parking incorporated into the 88 Broadway development and additional parking facilities are available in the neighbouring buildings for visitors travelling by car.

Sleek and new from the ground up, 88 Broadway is reflective of a different attitude toward design and architecture which reflects a new way of life.

Cool and modern. Open and exciting. At 88, the architecture shines. White, wood and glass. Light and air. The exhilaration of a new urban lifestyle. Perfect as a quiet place to retreat with friends, or in private.

Internal Zen Courtyard
Three buildings
Harbour views
A unique sense of community
Minutes from the CBD by electric train

As you would expect with marketing material, it generally sounds pretty good, especially as they are including about how easy it is to access the city by train. As usual though the devil is in the detail – but first here are some images of the proposed development from the street and from the inside looking out.

88 Broadway - Street View

88 Broadway - Internal View

As you can see in the image below, the private courtyard and the town houses in the image above is situated on top of what appears quite a large car park, one that takes up a huge amount of the site. There is some retail – but not a huge amount – however my main concern is just how the development hooks in to the train station. It kind of get the feeling that once again access is confined to a narrow alleyway somewhere around where the word rangitoto is -although hopefully I’m wrong. Not only that but the entrance appears quite narrow and as such not suited to the huge volumes of people that could potentially be using it to access northern parts of Newmarket.

88 Broadway - Plan

Auckland Transport apparently have to build the new connection to the station however it is unsure when they might do this or what it will look like.

One thing I definitely won’t criticise the development on is the apartments. There is a huge range from single bedroom apartments up to four bedroom apartments and townhouses with over 150m² of floor space. It’s good to see a greater variety of dwellings of offer. As you would except in this location, the prices aren’t going to be cheap. I did see a price list before they updated their site and from memory even the single bedroom apartments were over $400,000 with the four bedroom apartments and townhouses at around $1.4 million.

For the time being there is of course the small matter of the railway junction that will be under the site. The developer has told me that they are expecting to start the piling for it within a month or so, presumably both they and Kiwirail will be hoping that to get as much of it done possible over the summer shutdown.

Broadway Junction Development

Thanks to SolR in my post yesterday the possible closing of Sarawia St we have some more information what may happen with the area above the Newmarket railway junction. We saw a different design for it earlier this year but not much other information about the project. But it seems that things are kicking up a gear with the developers saying construction is planned to kick off early next year with the development completed by 2015. While the architecture might not appeal to everyone’s tastes, I think it is a great example of the kind of development we need to be thinking about for our town centres around the region Auckland. By building over the junction it makes great use of a site that otherwise can only serve one purpose. One of the best things thought is that it appears to also provide a new connection to the Newmarket train station which would bring more of the Newmarket area within easy walking distance of the station. Looking from Broadway, here’s roughly what things look like now:

And here is what things will look like if this gets built:

The development will be quite mixed including retail, office space, apartments and a hotel along a pedestrian plaza. I guess my biggest concern is that pedestrians wanting to access the station have to walk along what appears to be a narrow walkway at the back of the development. It would be nice to have seen that key pedestrian area and shops could have extended all the way to where the station access was.

If this lives up to the hype the developers have put into their presentation, it could be an outstanding example of the kind of urban developments want to see around the region so hopefully they can get this off the ground.