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Up and away for Auckland's high-rise apartments

Monday 22 Apr 2013 6:38p.m.

Up and away for Auckland apartments
West Auckland's first high-rise building has been granted resource consent today.

The council is heralding it as the perfect example of the way the city needs to grow: up, and close to public transport hubs. But there will need to be many more similar developments to meet the growing demand.

The Jamiesons were so keen they bought their two-bedroom apartment off the plans.

It's in the soon-to-be-built Merchant Quarter building in New Lynn, and will be one of 110 apartments over 15 floors.

The apartments start at an affordable - by Auckland standards at least - $250,000.

"We really wanted to change our lifestyle and we just wanted to try something different, we wanted to be all about us rather than the garden and so on," says Colleen Jamieson.

They sold their stand-alone house further west to move closer to work.

"It's so central to everything. People are tired of sitting bumper-to-bumper and taking ages to get to places - you can just jump on the train," says Ms Jamieson.

That's music to the ears of the mayor.

"For the last 15 to 20 years Aucklanders have been increasingly been turning to apartment living," says Len Brown.

They'll need to keep doing so too; Auckland has to squeeze in another 1 million people in the next 30 years.

Debate is raging whether to build up or to keep pushing out. The mayor wants a compact, higher-density city, but some Aucklanders are worried squeezing more people in will overrun the city's infrastructure.

"It's not going to happen overnight. It's a 30-year plan, we need the private sector to buy into it. It will depend on recessions, and times of growth and a whole range of things," says Mr Brown.

West Auckland's first high-rise will be completed early next year. 

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