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New lease of life for K Road precinct

Kim Stewart Dec 12
New lease of life for K Road precinct
Tawera Group completed the 130-apartment building Hereford Residences in 2017.

Tawera Group is just completing a multi-million dollar refurbishment on a series of buildings at 501 Karangahape Road in Auckland.

The project is transforming the buildings into a commercial premise, which is already home to Tesla’s first New Zealand and largest Australasian store.

Tawera Group director David Mahoney says his company worked for over a year to get anchor tenant Tesla on board.

Other tenants include Hera Bridal, a bagel company and Spaces, flexible coworking office space. David says the biggest challenges were time constraints to get the project finished in time for Tesla and the usual unknowns typical of working on older buildings.

“Even though the building threw up plenty of obstacles we see it as a long term asset for the group so were happy to go over and above the norm to ensure the building will last for another 120 years.”

The whole building was essentially gutted, earthquake strengthened with a new glass façade and canopy installed. David hopes the building contributes to the transformation that has been taking place on K Road for a number of years, helping to better link it with the CBD.

He says he didn’t want the buildings to lose their “K Road feel” and thinks the diversity attracted by Spaces will help to retain this distinctive K Road element.

David says that initially Tawera Group travelled overseas to look at the possibility of their own co-working space business but decided it was a specialist area and was therefore glad when Spaces, which is part of Regus, came on board. Tawera Group plans to use Spaces as its own flexible office space.

“With co-working spaces you’re not stuck in a long-term lease. If you expand you can expand within that space. I think it’s the way of the future for the office market.”

The overall project also includes its 130 apartment building Hereford Residences, completed in 2017, which has already won numerous building
and architecture awards.

“We’re aiming to build homes rather than targeting the investor market. It’s like designing any other home just many levels up in the air.”

He says that Hereford Residences is also breaking new ground in terms of amenities including a 20 metre lap pool, 80 square metre library with snooker table and theatre room.

“Our buyers have come from larger houses so this gives them the ability to have friends over to watch the rugby or a movie. It also helps to facilitate interaction between owners to create a community,” explains David.

Tawera Group is a family owned and operated company owned by David and his father Mike who started the company with David’s mother Tracy in the early 90s.

Today David’s sisters Annabel (marketing) and Josephine (interior design) work in the business along with brother in law John Love who is the company CFO.

“We like to get involved in every aspect of the project including design, interiors, construction, sales and marketing. “It is this hands on approach that has been a recipe for success,” says David.

The project also includes three other development sites, which David says Tawera Group is happy to sit on at the moment waiting for the right time in the market to proceed on further office and hospitality focused developments.

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