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Kiwis Want Bach Lifestyle Not Mansions

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*Trend Indicates Kiwis Want Bach Lifestyle Not Mansions **/People Returning To Traditional Values in Downturn/**


*TAURANGA, Thursday 23 October 2008: * Most people think they want to live in mansions, but international trends show what they really want is to feel connected to their neighbours and return to the values of the past.

Stephen Moore the principal of Roberts Day, an internationally recognised urban design company, says this weekend’s launch of Excelsa in Papamoa East (Bay of Plenty), is a neighbourhood that combines new ideals with old-fashioned values.

“There is a global renaissance of Traditional Neighbourhood Design (TND). People want to feel connected to their immediate neighbours and broader community because it fosters social interaction, along with health and well being,” says Moore.

The first street in Excelsa comprises 10 fully completed houses that have been specifically designed using the latest urban planning research to encourage closer knit communities aimed at accommodating a mix of generations from empty-nesters, young families and older people.

Just this week an article in the New York Times mused “perhaps the downturn, however painful, will lead to a return to the values of the past…….. There is a strong collective sense of us all coming back down to earth. It’s like a huge national reality check and, unwelcome as it may be, there is a possibility that it will result in us straightening out our priorities.”

Jason Macdonald, the general manager of Excelsa’s development firm Bluehaven, says bach life is woven into New Zealand’s history as it rekindles memories of fun times with family and friends, swimming, fishing and BBQs.

“At Excelsa we have captured these evoking memories and reflected their values within the design of the homes and the atmosphere and layout of the street,” says Macdonald.

Macdonald says the design of Excelsa is familiar, because it is based on the timeless principles of neighbourhood design which was typically constructed prior to World War II. “These places focused on the pedestrian and today are some of the most cherished and valued places in New Zealand,” says Macdonald.

Excelsa has re-introduced the front house porch and positioned it close to the foot path, so people can soak in the atmosphere of the neighbourhood.

“The streets are narrower, to enhance this intimacy. Driveways are limited, instead residents drive into their garage from behind the home so children can safely walk, run and ride bikes along the front of properties without the risk of being hit by a reversing car,” says Macdonald.

Macdonald says international evidence indicates that people will buy into this sub-division over suburban sprawl because they are looking for these intangibles that money can’t usually buy.

Excelsa will offer community focused open green spaces including a tennis court, children’s playground and barbeque facilities.

Macdonald says Excelsa will be a special mix of seaside, urban and retail experiences. In the development there will be various types of housing including free standing beach houses, terraced beach houses, mixed use and apartments. The first 10 houses are freestanding and ranging in price from late $400,000s to early $500,000s. Already one house is sold, with another currently under contract.

The project encompasses 260 dwellings and convenience retailing will be set within the 8 hectares of land that Excelsa comprises. Bluehaven is negotiating the first retail stage, planning amenities that meet broad services for residents. Parks, schools, retail shops, gymnasium, a civic building, and town square are planned for the future.

A street festival is to be held on Sunday 26 October from 10am to 2pm to celebrate the completion of the first street of Excelsa. There will be activities and entertainment for everyone, including a demonstration on how to grow a herb garden, egg & spoon races, a treasure hunt, clay art, chalk competition, three legged races and clown fun. Everyone is welcome, with gold coin donations sought to raise money for the Papamoa Lifesaving Club.

For a map of how to get to Excelsa visit


Located just 20 minutes from Tauranga CBD and Mount Maunganui, Papamoa East occupies a large area between Papamoa and the Kaituna River. Its unique coastline still offers the sleepy seaside lifestyle where people fish off the beach for breakfast at sunrise.

Over the next 15 to 20 years Papamoa East’s population is predicted to grow by more than 400 percent to almost 25,000 people.


Excelsa Village founders, Bluehaven Management are committed to leading the South Pacific in quality design and the development of new urbanism – fostering healthy, sustainable communities for future generations.

Creating a community like Excelsa has taken years of intense planning, public consultation and negotiation with local authorities. The Tauranga Council’s ‘live, work, play’ philosophy is incorporated within Excelsa’s strategy. This means for future residents of Excelsa it will be possible to work from home or close by – capitalising on the beach lifestyle that is ingrained into the Kiwi ethos.

The builders of the initial ten homes of Excelsa are Ultimate Homes, Classic Builders and Jennian Homes.


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