Go west for a place to call homeSave
By Sandra Goodwin
Architect Allan Shanahan knows the times, they are a-changin' out Swanson way and he's played a hand in that.
He says when he spent his infant years growing up as a young Westie in Titirangi: "Swanson was pretty much the frontier land of the West".
In those days (around the time Dylan penned The Times They Are A-Changin) Henderson was the most far-flung traditional suburb and Swanson was considered more remote territory dotted with orchards and no-nonsense vineyards.
Leap half a century forward and Allan's practice, Shanahan Architects, has designed homes that are being completed and offered for sale at new neighbourhood Fletcher Living at Swanson.
Nowadays Swanson is firmly on the transport network. This development, 21km from Auckland's CBD, offers a direct pedestrian link to the Swanson train station and electric trains heading into town.
You can get a good latte in Swanson or nip only 1.5km to Ranui's shops, eateries, supermarket and library or just 4km to bustling Lincoln Rd.
"It may be nestled in the foothills of the Waitakeres but Swanson's getting more suburban," Allan says.
Shanahan Architects have designed for Fletchers before: a Queenstown subdivision, terrace houses in Auckland's well-established Stonefields and designs for Fletchers Whenuapai development.
"Our designs are focused on creating homes that are really nice to live in," Allan says.
"These might be at the more affordable end of the market but everyone still wants the same things - homes that get the sun, that get good light and that flow and work well.
"People want access to good outdoor living areas with decent sized sections for barbecues and kids to play and that's what they'll get here."
Unlike the many "off-the-plan" Auckland developments, Fletcher Living at Swanson offers completed freehold homes that buyers can inspect before buying, eliminating guesswork.
There are completed three-bedroom or four-bedroom stand-alone homes and three-bedroom or four-bedroom duplex homes ready now.
Allan says: "Exteriors are mainly weatherboard and brick but because there are variations in the homes' colour palettes and in elements such as rooflines, windows and pergolas, you are going to end up with a really pleasant streetscape.
"So you'll have lively streetscapes but an overall sense of cohesiveness which will really make this feel like a community."
With price tags starting at $799,000 these homes are expected to have broad appeal to first-home buyers, families and downsizers alike. They come with a 10-year Master Build Guarantee.
All have auto-opening internal-access garages, predominantly double, and grounds with exposed aggregate driveways and paths, section planting, and Ready Lawn/Hydroseed lawns.
They are insulated, with front sensor lighting, alarms, deadlocks and LED lighting and heat pumps inside.Open-plan dining-kitchen-family living incorporates kitchens complete with dishwashers and Caesarstone bench-tops.
There are layout options with an additional upstairs family room or study. Some of the ensuited master bedrooms have walk-in wardrobes.
This new neighbourhood near the Redwood Park Golf Club is on the doorstep of the Waitakere Ranges' 250km of walking tracks.
It's a short drive to black sand beaches such as Bethells or O'Neills or to more urban pleasures such as The Trusts Arena, WestCity Shopping Centre, Westgate, or the West Wave Pools and Leisure Centre.
The development is in relatively early days now, with 32 homes sold. When it's completed, in three years, it will be a community of 300 homes on around 20ha of former orchard land.