It was at this retirement village that centrally located, apartment style, medium rise -up to 6x stories, high–density housing was introduced to retirement villages in New Zealand. The result has been an outstanding success. Waitakere Gardens has had a major influence in the development of Henderson and Waitakere City as a catalyst development in the rejuvenation of Henderson as a regional centre. When it first entered the market, Henderson real estate was considered at the bottom of the value scale for Auckland. Despite this, Waitakere Gardens introduced a quality product into the market that exceeded all buyers expectations and contributed to lifting property values in this area. It has become the centre for senior citizens in West Auckland.
The design is based on atrium-styled streets flanked by apartments and enclosed –responding to the 'communities within communities' design philosophy that puts the residents first. The ground floor is a vibrant'street' with street-lights and furniture, active shop-frontages that spill into the atrium –activities room, café/restaurant, information suite, reception and waiting, complete with library, hairdresser, medical facilities –typical of many community shopping centres.
In setting a new Australasian benchmark for retirement communities, with 324 residential units, spectacular common facilities and over 500 happy residents, it is a model for creating a successful community. It has received numerous awards including category winner in the Property Council NZ Awards, and category winner in the BNZ Best Business Awards. Residents fondly refer to the village as 'Henderson Hilton'.