New to Grey Lynn - The Feynman

Koa Flats is a Goer

Two hundred members of the extended Ockham whānau attended Ampersand for the launch of Ockham’s 19th development. The company was delightful, the canapés divine and the cocktails stirred though not shaken. The 14 apartments at the small but mighty Koa Flats in Meadowbank were an instant hit. 

It was standing room only to take in the speeches from the Ockham team which highlighted the many virtues of Koa Flats, this elegant, understated development that marks the company’s first sortie to the eastern suburbs.  

Championing the 2016 Auckland Unitary Plan to make Tāmaki Makaurau “a quality compact city,” Ockham helmsman Mark Todd said Koa Flats fitted the bill perfectly. “I’m very proud of this development, its 14 units on a 630 square metres, only 400m or so from the train station… it’s got cycle connections to the waterfront, it’s a great place to live.” He likened the proportions of Koa Flats to a classic prime-time soap opera. “Those of you old enough in the room to remember a programme called Melrose Place; that was the vision we had for this, a small development centred around a pool.” 

Really great density at a smaller scale

Taking the stage, Architectural Designer Hannah Chiaroni-Clarke continued the theme. “We don’t usually build apartments of this scale, so it’s a real boutique project for us,” she said. “Koa Flats is an example of how you can still do really great density at a smaller scale, and even at a smaller scale do a really good job of building and fostering a sense of community.”  

The rarity of every apartment at Koa Flats – each possessed of its own unique charm – prompted some serious contemplation among those in attendance. Were you a west-facing-garden kind of person, or more of a top-floor-with-a-raised-ceiling-and-Sky-Tower-view type? Mark’s Melrose Place reference also caused furrowed brows. Would you rather be Michael Mancini or Heather Locklear? And if, Heather Locklear, would it be pre or post-Tommy Lee? A concentrated hush fell over Ampersand as brochures were browsed, and renders reviewed.  

Over at the bar, a solitary champagne bottle popped.

A block away from a lagoon

Ms Chiaroni-Clarke enthusiastically extolled the virtues of Koa Flats’ locale: “I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was… a cute apartment on a quiet residential street, a block away from a lagoon, the Basin, that you can walk or bike or train over to get to the city sounds amazing!” Just outside, Ampersand’s view of the Ōrākei Basin and train station, visible in the winter gloam, perfectly illustrated her point.  

“It’s a modern take on a traditional gable roof form and it’s clad in the classic Ockham red brick,” she continued. “The building is three storeys tall with a gabled roof; this means the top-floor apartments will have these amazing and dramatic pitched ceilings, over 5m tall at the apex.” Not even Ampersand’s porcini mushroom arancini with truffle emulsion could distract from what apartments on the upper level of Koa Flats have on offer. Attic storage space. 

“They’re very clever with the use of space”

 Wrapping up the presentation, Joss Lewis, Ockham’s head of sales, outlined how to buy, how it find her friendly colleagues dotted around the room – explaining apartments could be reserved for sale on a first-come, first-served basis.  

What happened next will live on in Ockham memory for some time. Within a breathless four minutes, all 14 apartments were spoken for, and eager waiting lists were forming. Four minutes! All 14! Proof that everyone could see themselves happily cast in Koa Flats, either on the ground floor with a garden, snug on the first storey with a balcony, or perhaps perched happily upstairs below skylights and raked windows. Regardless, everyone could lounge by the shared pool. Cue theme song.

“Koa Flats is an example of how you can still do really great density at a smaller scale - and do a really good job of building and fostering a sense of community...”

Architectural designer, Hannah Chaironi-Clarke

“They’re very clever with the use of space,” mused Jocelyn Goodman, a guest who identified with G04, a north-facing garden. “A lovely little development. It’ll really suit people who want to be close to town, all the transport routes are on your doorstep. For people who work in the city it’ll be absolutely ideal.” 

After such details had been confirmed, attention then rightfully turned to the canapes. Smoked salmon rillette on rye! Lamb sausage roll! Profiteroles with whipped brie and cranberry! How do they whip the brie like that? Why is lamb not presented in sausage roll format all the time? Some mysteries are best left to wonderment. Regardless, all paired well with the Koa Flats cocktail – a splash of curacao and gin mimicking the blue of the Ōrākei Basin on a summer’s day – and the chatter of the evening.