Quality new building makes statement in central city

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In a word, quality. That is what defines Parkhaven in its setting on Hamilton’s Tristram Street and is at the core of what developers Black & Orange are all about.

Parkhaven is also quickly becoming a landmark building for its size and scale, a $14.5 million development that is a vote of confidence in Hamilton’s CBD. The new five-storey, mixed-use apartment, commercial and retail building is now fully occupied apart from one tenancy on the ground floor where work is nearly complete.

A quality end product was important to Black & Orange, who saw room in the market for a high-end product. Director Blair Currie says they could see mixed-use was working well around the world. “We loved the idea of creating a vibrant, exciting community in the heart of the CBD. Great design will bring the people back to the city. We know this, the research is clear. Worldwide examples back this up. For this development to work, the quality of the final product had to push Hamilton’s limits.”

It was a risky move: Parkhaven was the first development for Black & Orange. “We were the new kid on the block,” says director Mitch Mace. “It was our first development and we were doing something of a reasonable scale, trying to get people to give us the attention was the first challenge. A lot of people were concerned: is this project the real deal? Apartments in Hamilton off the plan was certainly a challenge. But as soon as we started getting steel out of the ground, we were up and running.”

The attention to quality includes extensive use of glazing, with plenty of sunlight pouring into the 21 apartments and commercial spaces, and views to go with it. Acoustic treatment and performance throughout the building is at least 15 percent above the minimum industry standard, internal garaging for the penthouses, covered carparking for apartment owners and a total of 96 parking spaces, substantially more than required by the district plan, were all included as part of the development.

As important as quality is the sense of community fostered by the building. Anchor tenant BCD Group, which has the same owners as Black & Orange, has been in the first floor since January.

“We’re loving our new space,” says Mitch. “There has been a noticeable uplift in the staff of BCD – they were pretty excited to move in.”

For him there is satisfaction in knowing that the residential-commercial mix is working, even better than he had expected. Apartment buyers have mostly been empty nesters and young professionals, adding to the variety of people working and living in the building.

“You go to the cafe downstairs and you’re bumping into Barry from upstairs and you can have a yarn with him while getting your morning coffee. It mixes the commercial and residential together. It creates that neighbourhood feeling.”

The Black & Orange team also pays tribute to Hamilton City Council for its support. “The council saw this as quality and backed the product,” Mitch says. “We’re thankful for that. They certainly made the process easier and came to us with solutions, which a lot of councils don’t do. They wanted to see this happening.” The resource consent came through in 21 days he says, which is a testament to the work of the BCD planning team, who engaged with council early in the process.

Black & Orange has more developments on the drawing board. One is very similar to Parkhaven, on Tauranga’s Cameron Road – it is another mixed-use development, with five floors above ground and two basement floors for parking. Black & Orange also has 19 industrial units at Bristol Place, Te Rapa that have recently hit the market. They were listed in April for sale off the plan and interest is high in the units, which range from 90sqm to about 150sqm, making them smallerthan most being built at the moment. They are aimed at tradies who want to get out of the home office and the developers have obviously found a fruitful market with Mitch saying they are “flying off the shelf already”.

When it comes to Parkhaven, Mitch says they are proud of what they have been able to achieve. “It certainly fits the bill of what we were setting out to try and do.”

His comments are echoed by Black & Orange project development manager Daniel Kirk. “One of the things we’re really keen as a group to be part of is the positive transformational developments that are happening in Hamilton, particularly in the CBD. All of us are locals and we want to do projects that we can look back at in 10 years or 20 years with the kids and say, hey, we did that.”

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