59 France apartments weave industrial heritage with modern living

102 spacious apartments to be built on the Kings Arms Tavern site will have easy access to entertainment, retail and dining precincts and public transport.

Many will know 59 France St, Eden Terrace, as the home of the Kings Arms Tavern, which served inner-city drinkers for nearly 140 years, but before that, the area was known for its workshops and warehouses. Urban Collective and Paul Brown Architects have paid homage to this past in their plans for 102 modern apartments that will rise on the inner-city site.

Specifically developed for owner-occupiers, Paul Brown’s 59 France design seamlessly weaves the industrial charm of yesteryear with the ease of modern living in a range of spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom New York-inspired apartments. Exposed brick and concrete as well as generous 2.8m stud heights add grit and character to each home, while mod cons such as European appliances offer 21st-century convenience. The timeless design leaves room for individual flourishes and means the space will feel fresh no matter how long you live there.

Eden Terrace is often overlooked as a residential locality in favour of more-sought-after suburbs, but it’s home to some of the city’s best restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s also well served by frequent bus services and cycle ways. And 59 France is just a stone’s throw away from the lively Karangahape Rd precinct — and the soon-to-be-built City Rail Link — as well as Grey Lynn, and Ponsonby’s vibrant shopping and dining strip. Each 59 France apartment comes with the option to add a secure basement car park, but with late-night public transport and much of the city within walking distance, having a vehicle isn’t a necessity.

Urban Collective has surveyed young professionals and other potential buyers to plan a building that will truly work for its residents. The absence of amenities such as a gym and pool will keep the body corporate costs low. There are plans for an independently leased wine bar and a cafe on the ground floor. “We’re design focused,” says Steve Groves of Urban Collective. “We put a lot of effort into delivering a building that actually looks like the renders. And we’re not chasing investors, our target audience is owner-occupiers.” The price point — apartments start at $640,000 — reflects this approach.

Apartment living has become an increasingly appealing option for people in Auckland who want the security of home ownership without the commitment of a large section. 59 France offers all of that without the inconspicuous and drab decor of other “boring gib box apartments”, as Groves calls them. Construction begins soon, with a prospective project completion date of mid-2020.

For more information, see www.urbancollective.co.nz