A new dimension for South Auckland
Helping to redefine urban living in the Manukau central area is Du Val Group with its m ixed use apartment building Lakewood Plaza, and the market has responded eagerly, making Lakewood Plaza one of the fastest selling apartment blocks in Auckland in recent times.
Du Val Group acquisition director Ken Hight says Manukau has been poorly represented for accommodation, and Du Val Group wanted to provide a building with higher amenity and a higher standard of living. “I think we’ve done that with Lakewood Plaza,” he says.
“It has much more to offer than just a standard apartment building.” On the ground floor of the 15-storey building is a 20m swimming pool and a health club, a bar and cafe, Du Val Group headquarters and display suite, and the project’s main contractor Downey Construction is putting its own office in there too.
“The great thing about having the health and fitness club and the bar and café is we have seen growth in the workforce here in Manukau, Monday to Friday nine to five, and we want to try to maintain that activity for a longer period,” Ken says.
“It’s not just about people who live here, but people who work and play here as well.”
He says sales have been driven by demand, and the fact people no longer have to go to Auckland CBD to find luxurious living when they can have it in South Auckland. “We haven’t sold any of these offshore – they are all New Zealand buyers,” he says.
“The buyers who came in early and purchased apartments for about $500,000 have made amazing capital gains, with the latest ones selling for $855,000.
“We have 91 apartments that are dual key so you can separate them into a one bedroom and a studio apartment, and that has been really attractive for investors.”
Another selection of buyers seem to be setting a new trend for empty nesters, with mums and dads no longer wanting to manage or maintain a large family home once the kids have left.
“They are becoming more comfortable with the idea of living in an apartment, especially one that’s connected to a gym and is accessible to everything in Manukau City, and that’s only going to increase in the coming years.”
Lakewood Plaza is the baby of Du Val Group CEO Kenyon Clarke, who has been involved in apartment developments in the UK.
“When he came back to New Zealand, he saw how badly we were doing apartments and he wanted to do something about it,” Ken says. “Manukau City is the perfect place to test that idea, because there is such high demand.”
He says Manukau also offered a reprieve from the competition of Chinese development companies in Auckland CBD, which New Zealand based developers are struggling to compete against.
“We will definitely build some more towers, Manukau is crying out for them. “The demand and the growth expectations in Manukau are absolutely enormous.
“We’ve tried to set a high standard, we want to build beautiful looking buildings with great amenities, great apartments, and superior specifications at a reasonable price point.”
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