Out of the rough: Formosa Golf Course land to get 3000 new apartments, townhouses

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Plans of the old golf course, released today. Photo / supplied

Around 3,000 new apartments and townhouses are planned in blocks of up to four levels on part of the Formosa Golf Course in southeast Auckland, cutting from an 18-hole to nine-hole course.

Brett Russell, managing director of Russell Property Group, co-owner of the 255ha site where the golf course currently stands, said an application for a change of plan had been filed.

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The apartment, business, hospitality and retail project could take 15 to 20 years, he said.

The golf course designed by Bob Charles will go from 18 to 9 holes but the promoters say they are investing in the course to bring it to a better level.

The clubhouse is being upgraded and offers restaurants as well as conferences to attract more people, the statement said.

Beachlands South Limited Partnership has applied to Auckland Council for a rezoning.

This entity is owned by Russell Property Group, NZ Super Fund, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki and Hāpai Development Property LP.

What the old golf course might look like when laid out and landscaped.  Photo / supplied
What the old golf course might look like when laid out and landscaped. Photo / supplied

The 255ha Beachlands South scheme could accommodate around 3,000 housing, commercial, retail, education and open spaces.

Water, sewage and stormwater treatment plans have been drawn up along the road upgrades and more frequent ferry service is possible, he said.

Coastal walks, playgrounds, parks and open spaces are planned and Russell said this could be a catalyst for the community to get new primary and secondary schools.

Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki has mana whenua for the region and supports the project, Russell said.

Hapai is a real estate fund owned by iwi which has 20 investors. These entities purchased 5% of the Beachland South Limited Partnership, according to the statement.

Two years ago the Herald reported how an entity set up by the NZ Super Fund and the owner of one of New Zealand’s largest construction companies had bought Formosa Golf Resort and would merge that with a nearby site.

Restaurants are part of the plans on the ground.  Photo / supplied
Restaurants are part of the plans on the ground. Photo / supplied

A joint announcement in 2020 came from the fund and Russell Property Group, which owns leading national builder Dominion Constructors.

This would buy 250 ha of land: the 170 ha club at 110 Jack Lachlan Drive and an additional 80 ha at 620 Whitford-Maraetai Rd already owned by a partner in Russell Property Group. The properties are collectively valued by Auckland Council at $81.5 million.

No pricing was announced and no plans were revealed at the time.

In 2019, Auckland Council filed 17 sewage dumping charges against three people in Formosa.

Steve Pearce, the board’s regulatory compliance officer, said the defendants belong to Formosa Golf Club.

“Auckland Council have filed 17 charges against three defendants in relation to sewage discharges at Formosa Golf Club in Beachlands, East Auckland. The defendants have been summoned to appear in Manukau District Court,” Pearce told the time.

The club referred inquiries about the charges to chief executive Graham Chin.

In early 2019, Chin acknowledged a problem with the Formosa sewage treatment plant, but said that at the time it was being fixed and although there would be a temporary shutdown, contractors experts were at work.

In 2020, the golf resort was fined $90,000 for this issue.

This came after earlier advisories and warnings to resolve the issue at the resort which has accommodation, the 18-hole golf course and club facilities, a restaurant and a fitness center .

The landfill was having a detrimental effect on land and nearby Waikopua Creek, council officers found.

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