1000 Homes at Hobsonville

In the space of a decade the company delivered over 1000 homes at Hobsonville Point. I was there for about six and a half of those years. This project being the last completed under my watch as CEO.

A few things to note when doing large blocks (a superlot) of homes at the same time – 50 to 100 units.

1. Think boutique. They don’t all have to look the same. Small blocks designed to look like they evolved over time. Varied floor plans and aesthetics contribute not only to a more pleasing streetscape but it also comes in handy in softer markets to move unsold stock.

2. Think small. If you were designing your dream home, you would naturally focus on the external context – right? Where the sun hits, the view, the best outlook, outdoor living space etc. you would pay attention to every window- down to what you will see when looking from the kitchen sink. However when designing 100 of them, its very easy to focus inwards on the site plan-without explicitly addressing the context of each unit. But you must. The DM and designer needs to address external context on every single unit.

3. Think value. An end unit allows more windows- don’t waste that opportunity with a 2 beddie, when you can now enable a 3 bed. Pay attention to the joal- the landscaping, the bin enclosures etc (albeit always an argument of cost versus function versus look)- for many this is their front door. And when doing inclusionary zoning -Axis Series they called it at Hobby- where buyers enter a lottery to effectively win 200k of equity – don’t put those units in the best locations! You need to maximise value by placing the market rate units where they can command the highest price.

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