Built To Last and to Cost Owners Less

Shane Brealey
Shane Brealey

The Northcote Development team is thrilled to see the first homes in the development hit the market and to hear all the great feedback on the designs and prices from the community at the recent open day. The new ‘neighbourhood within a neighbourhood’ is called ‘Fraser Avenue’ and is made up of 102 apartments in five boutique three-storey buildings around a village green. 

NZ Living, developers of ‘Fraser Avenue’ are the people behind Mason Square in Otahuhu and 340 Onehunga Mall. The company was set up in 2016 to meet the need for high quality, medium-density housing in Auckland. 

NZ Living uses architects to masterplan and design their developments and builds with an eye on keeping running costs down for the owner. The company aims to reduce building costs and construction time by up to 25% each. Those cost savings are then transferred to the buyer. But the good news doesn't stop there; they also aim for a 50% reduction in long-term maintenance costs. 

Shane Brealey is one of the Directors at NZ Living and is overseeing the delivery of Fraser Avenue. 

“We’ve chosen materials that are going to look good and need minimal maintenance for many years. The buildings are concrete slab, block and solid brick. The brick and the powder coated aluminium cladding are super durable. The exterior won’t ever need painting or restaining and there’s no need to hire scaffolding in the future to maintain the buildings.”  

Living at Fraser Avenue will also help homeowners manage their energy costs. The development has been awarded a HomeStar 6 rating. “The rating reflects the quality of the insulation, double glazing and the careful orientation to catch the sun,” says Shane. The Green Building Council’s website states that: “a 6 Homestar rating provides assurance that a house will be better quality – warmer, drier, healthier and cost less to run – than a typical new house built to building code.” 

 “The buildings will be not only warm but quiet”, says Shane. “The exterior and inter tenancy walls are solid concrete block and brick all the way to the roof – a 150mm reinforced concrete slab.”  

NZ Living has also kept the development to three stories rather than the permitted five so that elevators aren’t needed. Installing lifts in buildings adds to the purchase price and ongoing maintenance cost for owners. 

 Like most apartments, Fraser Avenue owners will belong to a body corporate and pay an annual fee to maintain the buildings and grounds. Fees are relative to the size of your apartment but average $2,000 a year – a figure Shane describes as “light” compared to many apartment complexes in Auckland. The fee pays for general maintenance and cleaning of the buildings; a gardener, building manager and body corporate manager; and building insurance. 

Like all NZ Living developments, a third of the site will be built on, a third will be allocated for car parking, and the final third is landscaped green spaces. 

“The buildings are arranged so that there are lobbies serving about six to nine apartments each,” says Shane. “This makes it more likely you’ll bump into your neighbours and helps establish a community feel within the broader development.” 

The central ‘village green’ will provide a place for residents to gather and a ‘backyard’ for kids. 

Sculptor Anton Forde has been commissioned by NZ Living to give something back to the people of Fraser Avenue in the form of an artwork. Each building’s exterior will feature one of five tukutuku panels as seen in marae, but in this case ‘woven’ in brick. Standing tall below the panels Anton has planned a Pou Kaitiaki (guardian carving) and, at the centre of the site, a kōwhatu granite touchstone.

Shane says NZ Living is a fan of Northcote and plans to build further developments in the Northcote Development area once Fraser Avenue is complete. “Our projects will always be in developing suburbs with good amenity and public transport options. That’s why we chose Northcote.” 

“Significant investment is going into Northcote’s streetscapes and public amenities, including a new primary school and an upgraded town centre. And it’s close to everything too; Takapuna, Wairau Road and the CBD. You can walk everywhere within Northcote, and there are great public transport links. And, unlike newer suburbs that are still establishing themselves, it has a real community buzz.” 

To find out more about Fraser Avenue homes visit NZ Living’s new sales suite at 38 Fraser Avenue. There will be someone there to welcome you and answer your questions daily between 10am and 4pm.