Article: Speak Easy

Making A  Community –  Marsden Cove  Updates with Michael BoturMaking A Community –  Marsden Cove Updates with Michael Botur

Marsden Cove is assuming an identity of its own.

WDC’s Long Term Plan estimates the district will grow from a current population of 89,700 people to 100,760 in 2028 - an average annual increase of 1,000 people per year and a total increase of 11,000 over the next decade. 

Developers are moving forward to secure at least another 400 sections from the council.

It’s more of an ebb in a spring of interest in the area than something completely new - Hopper Developments began developing at Marsden Cove in 2005, and of course people back in the 1960s knew the area was paradise when workers were settling around the newly-built refinery.

Developer Leigh Hopper says his team have nearly completed stage 5 of waterways which will be flooded in March 2019. “We’ve pre-sold half of that. And some of the purchasers will be able to get their vessels up. We’re boxing on again with Stage 6 now, which is earthworks.”

Sections available at the moment are mostly canal-front, often priced little above or below the $1m mark. Some have sold to owner-occupiers; others to building companies.

Hopper Developments bought Northland Port Corporation’s shares then five years ago sold the marina back to Northland Port Corporation, which reconstituted as Marsden Maritime Ltd, and the organisations have a shared interest in populating the maritime municipality.

The water lapping at the land is a major theme of Marsden Cove, with moorings provided as part of virtually all canal-front sections (there are non-canal options available, too). Homes here often have access to finger jetties.

Not far away are haul-out facilities for large vessels up to 80 tonnes and also a hard stand on adjoining land.

“Marsden Cove services the foreign boat fleet a hop skip and jump from the retail area,” Leigh points out. 

Apart from bespoke waterfront homes, the other big population draw is the retirement village known as The Anchorage, which is targeted at retirees aged over 60. Project-managed by Gray Hopper, The Anchorage has four salespeople helping fill it up. A number of houses are occupied at the moment and building is going forward at a steady rate. Leigh estimates the build period will be eight years.

Retirement on the water means a number of homes have canal frontage so residents can walk onto their boats – hence the name.  There will be a care facility and a professional health entity within The Anchorage Village.

Meanwhile, builders like Signature Homes are offering turnkey homes in various places around Marsden Cove from Sandy Bay to The Landing (and all around Northland -  Mangawhai, Kerikeri, Coopers Beach and Whangarei Heads.)

These properties enjoy a level building platform, easy access to main roads, beach and boat clubs, One Tree Point School, and a planned shopping centre. Signature Homes’ 3D house walk-throughs are a lot of fun to play with and they show not only what the house looks like from the inside-out and outside-in, the Property3D simulation shows exactly which whiteware is in there and who has provided the carpet, fittings, glass and more. House and land packages are often doubles, featuring double garages, two bathrooms and four bedrooms.

Signature Homes Northland owner Craig Dackers told me people can personalise many aspects even if it’s a fairly standardised house and land package. Things have come a long way just in the last 10-15 years.

“They can [personalise it] as much or as little as they want with us, from cladding types to roof style to colours. Whilst we have an allowance for landscaping, they can personalise that. They get heavily involved in kitchen and electrical designs.”

Finance is pretty sweet right now, with fixed interest rates of 3.95% arriving from January next year for both owner-occupiers and investors.

Craig personally lives in the subdivision that bounds The .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). “There’s a real community spirit within One Tree Point in general,” Craig observes. “We’ve got young families, professional couples, retired people. All those different demographics inform a true community.”

He believes employment options aren’t bad, either, with Refining NZ, Northport, Marsden Maritime and Carter Holt Harvey in the area.

Michael Botur has published journalism in NZ Herald, Herald on Sunday, Sunday Star-Times and Mana and he writes a lot of fiction. He moved to Whangarei in 2015 and was ecstatic to be able to afford a house here.

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