‘Much needed housing’ for city centre’s doorstep


With residential land at a premium in central Hamilton, a rare development will see more than 100 homes built on a site close to the city centre.

Three well known Hamilton builders are combining forces to create a mixed community beside Innes Common and just 2.5km from the centre of the city.

The 4 ha site will feature two, three and four bedroom homes, with a set proportion selling below Hamilton’s average house price.

The 110 house development, achieved under the now defunct special housing area legislation, brings together Anthem Homes, Golden Homes and Holah Homes.

They are the joint shareholders of Quentin Residential, which is buying the Quentin Drive site off Jack House Transit.

Jack’s Landing team, from left, Brett Maley,
Douw Van Der Merwe, Craig Smith, Phil Holah.

Dubbed Jack’s Landing in honour of the long-established house moving business, earthworks will begin in November, with building to start in April and stage one completed by the start of 2022.

Jack’s Landing is unusual in central Hamilton as a large tract of land zoned residential. Featuring cycle and pedestrian access to Rotoroa (Hamilton Lake), the development is set to help achieve the city council’s goal of denser living in the city.

Blake Richardson, of Golden Homes, says they want the development to contribute to the council’s aspiration for Hamilton to be a compact, livable city.

“I think it offers something that you don’t see really anywhere else in Hamilton, which is a mixed community close to town with lots of amenities close by,” he says.

Golden Homes co-owner Craig Smith says communities need variety. “So one of the things we’ve tried to do is make the houses with a range that could fit all sorts of age groups.”

He says the group also wanted to give back, via the affordable homes in the development.

The former special housing area (SHA) legislation provided a mechanism by which the land could be rezoned from industrial to residential. That came with the condition at least 10 percent of the homes will be no more than 90 percent of Hamilton’s average house price.

They got in with days to spare before the SHA scheme’s doors were closed, and are one of a small number to get the go-ahead in Hamilton along with Rotokauri North and Te Karearea.

In August they got resource consent – about two and a half years after they acquired the land. Hamilton City Council growth general manager Jen Baird pays tribute to the developers. “It has been a lengthy process for that team. It is cool to see them stick at it and deliver some more much-needed housing for the city.”

“The other thing that’s really cool about what they’re doing is that they’re really stepping into that affordable quality intensification space.

“Right through this process they have been very passionate about delivering a good outcome.”

Building will start on the empty, northern half of the site before moving, probably in 2022, to the southern half after Jack House Transit vacates.

Established in 1896 when George Jack shifted his first building, Jack House Transit has remained a family-run business and is the oldest operating building removal company in New Zealand. Smith says the development team worked closely to keep the Jack family name and mana central to the site’s new purpose.

The developers also say they have stayed in touch throughout with the neighbouring Greater Gilbass Area Residents Association.

“This sort of density is relatively new for Hamilton, especially when it’s adjacent to existing houses which are much lower density,” says Richardson. Association secretary Rob Ebert says they are pleased to have a good working relationship with the Jack’s Landing team. “The development group have always been willing to come and talk to us, taking our feedback on board around traffic flows and other parts of the proposal.”

When it comes to design, the developers have partly taken their cue from developments such as Hobsonville Point in Auckland.

Smith says Hobsonville’s attention to detail included where rubbish bins go, types of letterboxes, and landscaping.

He says they could see the difference instantly. “The thing we learned by going around some of the Auckland developments was that attention to detail will make a heck of a difference to  the outcome.”

That sees the Quentin Residential developers applying a similar level of detail to Jack’s Landing.

To provide ready access to Lake Rotoroa, they are building a shared cycle/walk way to Gilbass Ave. Marketing will include proximity not only to the lake and town but to major employers including Waikato Hospital and Gallagher.

The development is rare, and so is the collaboration on this scale. “We all know each other, and we’ve worked together, built next to each other,” Smith says. “Collaborating on this is a first. Everybody’s been very open and honest, in my opinion, and everybody wants the same outcome.

“I think the key was we all wanted to make it something a bit different, and we have different skill sets that have added value to the process.”


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