A little bit about Ockham Residential, the developers behind Aalto. And some information about the project itself – who is building it, when construction starts, and when it finishes.
Tell me about Ockham
Ockham Residential is a market leader in Auckland's development community. Since starting out in 2009, we’ve completed 13 major residential apartment developments across the city. Developments such as Daisy in Mt Eden, The Isaac in Grey Lynn and Hobsonville’s Bernoulli Gardens have won accolades from critics and buyers alike.
Our vision is a simple one – to build beautiful buildings that people like and want to live in. We call ourselves ‘urban regenerators’ – we want to play our part in making the new Auckland work, without losing the charm of the old. And so we see housing as infrastructure, the building blocks of community. We love Auckland: we believe it is one of the most naturally graceful cities in the world. The challenge is to try and ensure our built city is as stunning as its natural setting.
Who will be building Aalto?
Ockham Construction. As part of our commitment to the highest possible standards, Ockham Residential has formed its own construction arm. Ockham Construction has completed major projects including Daisy in Mt Eden, Tuatahi and Modal in Mt Albert. The team are currently roaring ahead with Aroha in Avondale and The Greenhouse in Grey Lynn.
How many apartments are there at Aalto?
There are 39 apartments at Aalto, ranging from studios up to two bedrooms.
Does the development depend upon a certain level of pre-sales?
Yes, there is a pre-sales condition in the sale and purchase agreement.
How are you funding Aalto?
Ockham Residential has the funds to finance the project with additional development funding from a bank. There’ll be no mezzanine finance of third party debt or equity involved.
What's behind the Aalto name?
When the great masters of 20th century design are discussed, the alphabetically-advantaged Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) ranks near the top. Architect, designer, sculptor, furniture maker, town planner… the Finnish multidisciplinary maestro did it all. From meticulous city master plans down to intricate glass vases; from great churches and grand theatres to the bentwood stools and benches where people sit within a building, Aalto’s eye for detail within the big picture was unmatched.
Star turns at successive world fairs in Paris (1937) and New York (1939) made Aalto’s name. His Finnish Pavilion in NYC wowed the world, Frank Lloyd Wright declaring it a “work of genius”. Following the Second World War, Aalto accepted a professorship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where, doodling in his down-time, he designed a curved red-brick masterpiece. Even today, Baker House, the MIT student dorm, seems thrillingly contemporary (and yet feels somehow classical). It would influence several significant buildings Aalto designed over the next decade back home in Helsinki.
We often name our buildings after critical thinkers — it’s an Ockham homage thing — and there’s another compelling reason to honour Aalto. You see, there’s more to this tale than the old trope of the wildly charismatic male auteur. First wife Aino, a trained architect and builder, designed all Aalto interiors, and devised the ubiquitous NE60 stackable stool beloved of families everywhere and the ‘high stool’ which adorns Apple Genius stores. After Aino’s early death from cancer, his second wife Elissa took over as atelier and greatly amplified his influence. Three Aaltos — Aalti — for the price of one; it’s an even more interesting story.
Let’s face it: the actual building side of things – the diggers, the cranes, the concrete trucks... the hard hats and hi-vis vests – is pretty damn exciting. But how are the buildings being constructed? And when can I move in!
Ockham’s buildings have a reputation for being solidly built…
They do. And Aalto – constructed of reinforced concrete and steel built to the latest engineering and earthquake standards – will be no exception.
And the fit-out?
Our apartments are built to last. Floors are concrete and the inter-tenancy walls (walls between apartments) are designed to provide excellent acoustic privacy. All apartments are double-glazed, have high ceilings, overheight doors and are fitted out to a very high standard. Each comes with an appliance package, which includes an oven, induction cooktop, dishwasher, rangehood and washer/dryer combo.
Sounds great! When do you expect Aalto to be finished?
We expect construction to get underway in January 2022. It's a 14-month construction schedule, so we expect to finish in the second quarter of 2023.
The Sales Process
One of the advantages of buying an Ockham Residential apartment is that you’re buying directly from us. We have our own specialist sales team who know our developments back to front. They’ll be with you each step of the way.
I’m a first-home buyer and, to be honest, am a bit daunted by the process. Can you help guide me in the right direction?
We hear you – it’s a complicated process with a fair bit of paperwork to get through. We’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to the Sales Process which explains the sequence of things. We’d also encourage you to take your time and do your research. Settled, the government’s advisory website, is an excellent source of independent, Plain English info.
Lots to read up on – but I’d also like some specific info on Aalto. Can I come see you?
Yes, of course! We have a sales suite at 54 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn. We have a scale-model of the development, samples of the finishes as well as 3D floorplans and a very realistic virtual tour on a touchscreen TV.
I’ve checked Aalto out – and like what I see! How do I actually buy an apartment?
Righto. Our 'How to buy' section will take you through things step by step.
Are there any KiwiBuild apartments at Aalto?
No, we don't have any KiwiBuild apartments at Aalto, but we do have some for sale at our Manaaki development in Onehunga and Aroha development in Avondale.
Do you offer a ‘due diligence’ timeframe?
Yes, our sale and purchase agreement allows for five-working-day ‘due diligence’ and finance conditions. During this time your lawyer will review the agreement and related documents and you can get an agreement in principle from your bank if you wish.
It is also an opportunity to do any other homework so you’re well-informed and ready to proceed. If you change your mind, you can walk away without penalty (and without having to give a reason).
Is my deposit secure?
Absolutely. All deposits are held in trust by Ockham Residential’s lawyer until settlement (when the building is finished and titles issued). While your deposit is held within the trust account, you will receive any interest. Ockham cannot use the deposit funds to complete the development.
Are the titles freehold?
Yes, the Aalto apartments will have a Stratum in Freehold title, sometimes referred to as a unit title.
Do I have to make any progress payments throughout the build?
No, once you’ve paid your 10% deposit, you don’t have to pay the balance until settlement. Settlement takes place once the building is complete and the Titles and Code of Compliance Certificate (CCC) have been issued. At that time our lawyer will provide yours with a 10-working-day settlement notice.
Can the price of my apartment go up during the build?
No, the price stated in the Sale and Purchase Agreement (when you pay your 10% deposit) is the full price you’ll pay for your apartment at settlment time.
Bike racks. EV chargers. The storage situation. And the residents' lounge, the terrace, the guest room, the work-from-home office – tell me more!
Do the apartments come with a car park?
There are no car parks at Aalto, though there is a substantial bike and electric scooter garage in the basement. There is also a shared EV Cityhop car outside for use by all residents.
Are there storage lockers?
All the apartments include a storage locker in the purchase price. These are located in the basement of the building.
Are there bike racks?
We’re big fans of bikes at Ockham and Aalto has a huge 'garage' for bikes and scooters downstairs. Heaps of storage racks – and also plug-ins for EV charging.
What are the communal amenities at Aalto?
There's a residents' lounge atop the top floor, a spacious, light-filled place completely circled by a residents' terrace... 360-degree views! Said residents’ lounge is furnished with a kitchenette and toilet and is open to all residents ordinarily.
Also up here in the residents' hub is a separate work-from-home office. Cool! But that's not all - there's also a bookable guest room for visiting friends and whānau.
If you haven’t lived in an apartment before, you’ll probably have a few admin questions. Like how does the Body Corporate work, who do I see if I need something fixed, can I have pets…
Firstly, is there a Body Corporate?
Yes, as with all apartment developments, Aalto will have a Body Corporate. We’ve worked closely with Crockers to develop a comprehensive Body Corporate budget and Body Corporate rules. Our sales team will take you through this. But a good primer is this interview Joss from our sales team did with Helen O'Sullivan from Crockers in 2020.
Can I become a member of the Body Corporate Committee?
Yes. All Aalto apartment owners can run for election to the Body Corporate Committee.
Any additional running costs I need to factor in?
Apartment owners are responsible for the annual Body Corporate levy and Auckland Council rates. Water and power are individually metered so you pay for what you use. Building insurance is included in your body corporate fee, but you’ll need to get your own contents insurance.
What guarantees do you offer? is there a maintenance and defects period?
Ockham Residential’s buildings are constructed from time-proven durable building products and comply with the latest engineering standards. We have a track record of quality developments and maintain a connection to the buildings – and communities – we’ve become a part of.
We operate a 90-day maintenance period from the date of settlement. If there are any issues or problems within this period, let us know and we’ll fix them. There are emergency contacts for any urgent matters. Following the 90-day maintenance period, any further building defects are covered under the Building Act.
The Aalto Body Corporate will be the beneficial holder of all guarantees and material warranties.
Will there be a building manager?
Yes, an offsite building manager will be appointed. They’ll handle the day-to-day operations and maintenance required in the development. With all Ockham developments we look to the long-term. Our developments are built with durable – and enduring – materials to keep ongoing maintenance costs as low as possible.
Are you pet-friendly?
Yes, pets are allowed – with the written consent from the Body Corporate. Please check the Body Corporate rules if you plan to have a pet.
What system do you have for rubbish and recycling?
Bins will be provided for rubbish and recycling. These will be emptied by an external contractor under the management of the Body Corporate.
What’s the security like?
Good security is one of the real benefits of apartment living. Your swipe card will give you access to your building. That same card will allow you to move around the building to get to the areas you need (your apartment level, bike garage and common areas). Normal keys will be provided for apartment entry doors. There’ll be CCTV at the entry of the building.