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“Kerry Hoggard’s sad and sudden passing is a huge loss for the New Zealand harness industry, the country’s business community, and his beloved Auckland Trotting Club,” says Dominique Dowding, chief executive of Alexandra Park today. Ms Dowding’s comments follow news that Mr Hoggard passed away yesterday. He was the current president of the Auckland Trotting Club – a role he’d held since 2013, and was vice-president from 2010. He had been on the club’s board since 2004 and was a member for 16 years. “He was a visionary and a commercial genius. He was absolutely loyal to the club and completely committed to harness racing in New Zealand. Kerry’s work and focus was all about helping the families involved in harness racing get ahead and achieve their dreams.” She says as a long-time harness racing administrator, Mr Hoggard understood the need for club consolidation in New Zealand and was at the forefront of driving positive change for the industry. At Alexandra Park he was also hugely successful at lifting stake levels to some of the highest in the country. “We are so incredibly sad. Kerry backed his board and they completely backed him. He commanded respect from the members, our patrons, owners and breeders because he was literally one of them.” Ms Dowding says Mr Hoggard was at the forefront of the collective vision to make the Auckland Trotting Club completely financially self-sustainable so it could rely less on income derived from racing. “He was committed to securing a strong financial future for Auckland Trotting Club Inc to ensure it would continue racing throughout this century– something it has been doing since 1890 with the club celebrating 125 years of harness racing in Auckland this year.” A key part of that vision is the development of a comprehensive new urban village in part of the club’s carpark on Green Lane West. Earthworks ahead of construction have just begun, with residents set to move in from 2017. Another component of the club’s vision currently under construction is a new training centre and headquarters for Super 15 rugby franchise, The Blues. “As well as all the governance and management changes he’s overseen to improve how we operate as a commercial business and sector leader, the fact that so much construction is currently underway at Alexandra Park is testament to Kerry’s view that if harness racing was to survive and grow in New Zealand’s largest city, we needed to change. At Alexandra Park, these fundamental changes will be his ongoing legacy.” Kerry Hoggard was also one of New Zealand’s most successful businessmen. For half a century he was involved in FERNZ later to be known as Nufarm - a company he helped grow from a small local fertiliser firm to a publicly-listed entity with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales. Ms Dowding says the Auckland Trotting Club’s AGM on 29 October will be dedicated to Kerry Hoggard and all that he has achieved for our club and harness racing across New Zealand, as well as the club reaffirming its determination to deliver the vision that Mr Hoggard drove. “Our thoughts and love are with his wife Marilyn, son Andrew, and family at this time,” says Ms Dowding.     

Appointing award-winning architects RTA Studio has been described as a significant factor in Alexandra Park’s early success in the selling of apartments for its urban village set to open from 2017, says Alexandra Park CEO Dominique Dowding. “Bringing in RTA Studio and its hugely respected founder and director Richard Naish has been a real game-changer for the project. People can see and really appreciate the efforts we’re going to not only to design and build quality apartments, but a world-class urban village and entire community,” says Ms Dowding. Established in 1999 and based in Ponsonby, RTA Studio recently won numerous NZIA National Architecture awards, New Zealand Home of the Year 2015, New Zealand Architecture Medal, World Architecture Festival Winner, and the MIPIM AR Future Project Award. Richard Naish says RTA Studio’s appointment as lead architect for Alexandra Park’s mixed-use development will see the complete transformation of part of the Auckland Trotting Club’s car-park on Green Lane West.   “The opportunity to develop a unique urban village on this location was a great draw card for us. The site is truly a one-off. It has a unique north facing aspect on the edge of a live trotting track. But on top of this, it has extraordinary views of the surrounding volcanoes while being on the edge of Cornwall Park. With hundreds of people set to live here it gives us the opportunity to create a vibrant and energised mixed-use village,” says Mr Naish. He says Auckland apartment buyers are increasingly wanting more usable but private outdoor space and this market desire has become a key component and point of design difference for the Alexandra Park apartments. “We have developed the concept of the garden room, rather than the usual open balcony. With our design, people have additional space but also cover and operable sun and privacy screens which they can then inhabit and customise with furniture and plants like a real outdoor space. “In a sense we are trying to create a village of ‘House and Gardens’ in the sky but with a contextual relevance to the residential and horse racing architecture of the immediate suburb of Epsom. So screens are inspired by the fretwork of grandstands and Victorian villas of the surrounding neighbourhood,” says Mr Naish. RTA Studio is working in conjunction with Sydney-based firm Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke. However RTA Studio is the lead architectural consultant and the design architect on the project. “Broadly speaking RTA Studio is responsible for the overall design of the project. However DJRD bring a wealth of multi-unit residential experience from the Sydney market which has added a great deal of value to the apartment design,” says Mr Naish. He says while the Alexandra Park urban village is RTA Studio’s largest scale project to date, the architectural firm has nonetheless had significant experience at multi-million dollar commercial projects and a great deal of experience in delivering a number of high quality mixed-use projects. “We’d like to think we bring a lot of experience and a high degree of innovation surrounding both the urban design of the public realm as well as the innovation of the retail, commercial and residential spaces. Examples here would be our work on Ironbank in Karangahape Road and the Mackelvie Street retail precinct in Ponsonby,” says Mr Naish. Affordable luxury is how the Alexandra Park apartments are being promoted, and RTA Studio says their architecture and experience matches that aspiration. “The work our practice has produced over the last 16 years has demonstrated that good design pays. We’ve always set out to excel at both service delivery and design quality. We are always interested in interrogating every project brief and then seeking to push the boundaries of the design outcome. We are interested in extending and evolving building typologies rather than just merely executing a satisfactory design. And this has been the case for Alexandra Park too.” Richard Naish says the apartment design, garden room concept and the overall outdoor environment designed by leading Canadian urban design expert Joe Hruda are all critical elements which will all ensure exemplary quality is delivered at good value. Alexandra Park’s Dominque Dowding says the quality design and thoughtful architecture have positively resonated among apartment buyers from day one. “People love the garden room concept, the high-studded ceilings, the generous size of the apartments and their storage, the stunning entertainer’s kitchen complete with Bosch appliances, the beautifully appointed bathrooms, the seamless indoor/outdoor flow, and the fact they all optimise the sun and views while retaining privacy,” she says.  “What we’re able to deliver here is a compelling mix of beautiful residences and landmark architecture, matched by lovely promenades, boutique retail, al fresco dining, great public spaces, and good public transport links. “Getting RTA Studio on board has been a masterstroke to ensuring excellence which is now paying off in spades,” says Ms Dowding. The sod has now been officially turned for Canam Construction Limited to start constructing the first building which will contain 118 beautifully-appointed apartments and 2,500 sqm of retail, including a new supermarket concept for Auckland soon to be announced. The on-site apartment display suite is open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or visiting www.apliving.co.nz

Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding is delighted to confirm her harness racing club’s official partnership with the Blues which will see Alexandra Park become the long-term home of the popular Super 15 rugby franchise by the end of this year. Her comments follow both Alexandra Park and the Blues formally committing to a 15-year lease which will see the Blues build a high performance training and administration centre at Alexandra Park near Campbell Crescent and develop a practice field in the middle of the track. This follows an Auckland Trotting Club Special General Meeting in September last year where club members formally ratified the board proposal after the overwhelming majority voiced strong support for the leasing arrangement. The agreement will see the construction of a world-class stand-alone facility including a high-tech gym and the development of a training field in the park’s inner-track complete. The resource consent has been obtained, with the building consent pending. The cost of the new centre is budgeted at $4m plus fit-out. Dominique Dowding: "Getting the Blues is another really exciting development for our club which will help sustain and grow harness racing in this wonderful and unique central Auckland location." For Alexandra Park, this news comes on top of members last year voting to support transforming part of the club’s car-park into a urban lifestyle village dubbed ‘223 Green Lane West’ with boutique retail stores and 231 apartments coming to market in the coming weeks, with those interested in that residential development registering at www.apliving.co.nz. For both projects Alexandra Park says it has worked closely and positively with Auckland Council. Ms Dowding says rugby is not a completely new thing for the area. Formerly known as Potter's Paddock, Alexandra Park hosted the 14th All Blacks test, won 29-0 by New Zealand over the British and Irish Lions in 1908 in front of 12,000 people. "So let’s just say over 100 years on, rugby is making a bit of comeback at Alexandra Park. The club is very excited and there are a lot of synergies we can both gain from each other. Let’s not forget we’re both in the business of sport and we both attract a good Auckland following - harness racing at Alexandra Park mostly on a Friday night and the Blues more so on Saturday. "We also hope to develop a closer marketing relationship where we can both support each other’s codes, including getting some of Blues players along to the Friday Night Trots when they’re not busy the next day. "Like the Blues, we’re really excited at the enormous opportunities to engage the community with the new facilities and training ground, particularly when you consider all the nearby schools." Ms Dowding pays tribute to the leadership of the Blues who she says have been great to work with and to her commercially-focused board at the Auckland Trotting Club ably led by President Kerry Hoggard. This year Alexandra Park celebrates 125 years of racing on its Epsom site. Reprinted with permission of Voxy.co.nz    

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