Developing Auckland’s skyline and the suburbs- the apartment sector and QCL

Queen City Law has been intricately involved in the apartment development market for 20 years. Over this period the firm has acted on the construction of numerous high rise apartment towers, mainly in Auckland’s Central Business District.

Most recently, we acted on the Chelsea Bay Apartments development at 19 Rawene Road, Birkenhead, and the successful OKLA Apartment Complex in Albany, Auckland. Previously, we acted on projects like the 42 level Residences at Fort Street comprising over 400 units, 100 Anzac Avenue, Eden Cres Apartments, Fiore Apartments, and several other large development projects in the city. We also spearheaded the resource consent process for Elliott Tower, which took over 3 years and culminated in a successful result for what may well be the largest high rise ever built in New Zealand one day.

The firm also enjoys a close relationship with New Zealand’s largest apartment developer Conrad Properties. “Traditionally developers have targeted a 25% margin (before interest and tax) on high rise residential apartment developments in the city” says Marcus Beveridge, managing director of Queen City Law.

However, given certain variables such as land acquisition costs, escalating construction costs, the lack of overseas students, the prohibition on foreigners buying residential property in New Zealand and other such factors, we are currently not seeing any new 30 or 40 level apartment towers being developed in the CBD at this stage in the property cycle. Rather, we are seeing boutique 6 to 10 level apartment complexes being built around transport nodes in the suburbs where high density development is being encouraged. Regrettably, some of these projects do look like the plans fell off the back of an Albanian truck.

We will see the return of apartment towers in the city and possibly the conversion of existing commercial towers, as new trends continue to unfold such as office workers working from home plus corporates electing to house their office accommodation outside the CBD. Such conversion projects have their own complexities and are not for the faint hearted. A good example of this is the CAB Project in Aotea Square. You can see more about this on our Facebook page here:

Queen City Law was judged New Zealand’s top property and construction law firm for 5 years in a row. “This was at a time when the NZ Law Awards were really meaningful for us” says Marcus. Instead of other lawyers deciding who was best; it was engineers, architects, project managers, developers and other stakeholders who voted for the law firm that they rated the best to work with.

QCL is able to add a lot of bottom line value when it comes to apartment development projects. Marcus was initially involved in a 2-man team that drafted up the Metropolis Apartment agreement for sale and purchase off the plans back in 1997 and since then we have kept abreast with virtually all facets of project development. We are able to add a deeper level of expertise and value than other property law practitioners.

If this is an important topic to you, there is more background information available on our website in our online law library, under headings like Construction Law, Residential Property, and Commercial Checklists at:

“There is no question that apartment living will become a much more common feature of living in Tāmaki Makaurau over the next decade or so” says Marcus. Queen City Law reasonably expects to stay at the legal forefront of this trend. Accordingly, we have consistently built up the depth of QCL’s property team. You can see our property team brochure below:


Also, below we attach a link to our client’s recently completed OKLA development in Albany, which contains a video showing the project from commencement through to successful completion:

For further information, please email one of the following:

• (phone: 0274 877 332)