It took two-and-a-half years to convert the old Ford factory in Parnell, Auckland into a suite of apartments, but history has been preserved by the 19 apartments that now occupy the site, as reported by Stuff.
Preserving a city’s heritage is vital, and it’s even more special when you get to live in it. And this apartment comes with a great history.
Back in 1915, Ford built a huge brick factory in Augustus Terrace, Parnell, where the company proceeded to put together Model Ts for a hungry market (“any colour, as long as it’s black”). The Model T landed on the docks pre-assembled and packed in individual wooden cases. The cases were distributed to dealers who attached the wheels, windscreen and hood.
In 1924 the building was extended, in line with Henry Ford’s vision that cars should be fully assembled near the point of distribution. The factory was subsequently equipped with the latest technology, and designed for the assembly line methods made famous in Ford’s Michigan factory.
Within a year, the Parnell factory was employing up to 250 men, at peak times completing a Model T every 20 minutes (hard to imagine today). Production ceased in 1936, when the Ford Company of New Zealand built a centralised assembly plant in Lower Hutt.
But the factory remained, and was eventually came under the ownership of the Gosling Property Group (GPG), which embarked on an ambitious rebuilding project with Cheshire Architects, turning the huge factory into 8 eight Ford Loft apartments and 11 Ford Residential apartments.
On completion in 2019, spokesperson Bastiaan Struijck said they thought the build would take 13 months, but it “blew out” to 30 months.
”We discovered we had to rebuild the whole concrete frame by hand, piece by piece,” he says. “We were also hit by some of the challenges faced by the construction industry over the past couple of years. But it’s great to have delivered something pretty amazing that is now preserved for history.
“It still looks like the old Model T Ford factory – you still drive in through the original factory door.”
And now, one of the Ford Residences apartments has just been listed for sale. And, as expected, the apartment has a warm industrial character, with the original brick walls, concrete and some steel still intact.
Listing agent Fleur Denning of Bayleys Remuera holds the listing for the three-bedroom New York-inspired sanctuary, which was designed by architect Andrew Patterson.
It features generous living spaces designed to highlight the building’s architectural history. Both the main living area and a bedroom open out to a large northeast-facing terrace. Other features include a separate TV room.
Denning describes all the apartments in the building as “unique”, and not just because of the history and character.
“The Ford Residences is a petite block of 11 apartments with a group of like-minded owner-occupiers and residents, and that is one of the real pluses. This apartment is great as a permanent residence, but it could also be a lock-and-leave city home for someone with a house at the beach.”
Denning says the apartment, at 101/15B Augustus Terrace, Parnell, has a CV of $2.55 million, and is likely to be sold in the “mid-twos”. But the price will be determined at auction on October 4, 2023.
This story was first published in Stuff. Click here for the full story.