Relocatable apartments to resolve NZ’s housing shortage?

The Porirua City Council has cleared Wellington property developer Ian Cassels’ plan to build New Zealand’s first CitiBlox relocatable apartments on Council-owned land in Porirua. The land is formerly a car park near Porirua’s train station. It overlooks the Porirua Stream and has great connections to Porirua Railway Station and motorway. Mr Cassels’ company, the Wellington Company, has been granted a 10-year lease with two five-year rights of renewal as the land is a potentially strategic site in the longer term for the Council.

The relocatable apartments are factory buildable and transportable on a truck. Mr Cassels believes the quick and efficient assembly of the units will challenge conventional construction methods and ‘tip acid into the construction market and make it a lot more efficient’. The unique units can be disconnected and removed from their location, allowing temporary use of vacant land that is unavailable for permanent structures, such as Crown-owned land set aside for future rail or road corridors.

The units will be equipped with two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, bathroom and deck. Mr Cassels says they will be high-quality, double-glazed apartments and perfectly appropriate for permanent locations. The design has a Multiproof nationwide building approval from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and only needs a land-use consent to construct.

Mr Cassels aims to have six units on the Porirua site and ready to rent by mid-next year. Each unit will rent for about $300 to $400 a week. He has also started talks with the Government about a partnership to temporarily place 2000 CitiBlox apartments on vacant Crown land in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

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