Warehouse precinct becoming the place to live

Glen Hazelton.
Glen Hazelton.
The ''maturing'' of Dunedin's warehouse precinct is driving growth in demand for inner-city apartments, which is viewed as an exciting development for the city.

This week's announcement that the A.H. Reed Building is to be developed into apartments is the latest in a series of developments that will soon push the number of apartments in the area to nearly 100.

Dunedin City Council policy planner (heritage) Glen Hazelton confirmed there were already 62 apartments in the area around Vogel, Jetty and Bond Sts, with about another 25 planned, including 11 at the Stavely Building in Jetty St.

That did not count the 24 apartments being built in the Mercantile and Loan Building or plans for redevelopment of several Princes St buildings outside the precinct.

Dr Hazelton did not think there would be any issues finding buyers or tenants for the apartments because buildings completed so far had easily found tenants.

A lot of people had also been asking the council where they could get higher-end apartments.''

It's gone from ... large multiple-bedroom student apartment styles; now they are moving to smaller apartments targeted to professionals, and a lot of owner-occupier. There's that kind of maturing of the system.''

The residential development was soaking up what was otherwise vacant commercial space, he said.''

And we have so much commercial space on the market that you get a double-whammy positive because you're not only getting rid of some of that space, but you're also getting more people living in the area who can frequent local shops, and that's got to be a positive for Princes St as well.''

Warehouse precinctbecoming place to live> From Page 1The council was watching the area, Dr Hazelton said. As it evolved, the council would catch up with factors such as improving or changing parking and refuse collection.

''We have put some on-street public recycling bins in, and we are working through the kerbside recycling issues in the residential area, and have said we will look again at how much interest there is in residential parking.''

Real Estate Institute regional director Liz Nidd said the activity in the warehouse precinct excited her ''enormously''.

''I get excited every time I see another building come on ... when I picked up the paper this morning and saw [the A.

H. Reed] building has been bought and is going to be developed, it lifted my heart, because I just think [the architecture and heritage] is so important for all of us.''

She had not seen any new apartments come through from the area recently, so it was too hard to say what sort of prices they would fetch.

But the market would likely be more in the high end as the student market was well catered for. Development over an extended period would depend on the success of the apartments coming through now, she said.

''It's really important because that's what will really fire the ongoing market.''

Apartments were a ''very'' good use of the real estate in the precinct.

''I would love to see lots of apartments through there and also some neat little cafes.

''I think that's a fantastic use of that area, particularly as the council has stated very specifically they want to reduce greenfield development.

''People have got to go somewhere, so it is a good way of housing a whole lot of people.''

debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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