From their guesthouse, the Browns ran the first local store, as well as the postal services. In 1916 the Browns sub-divided their property, giving visitors the opportunity to buy their own piece of paradise for a mere 100 pounds. As the number of properties grew so did the transport systems. By the 1920’s there was a regular bus service connecting the ferry at Bayswater.
As well as an influx of holidaymakers in the summer, the number of permanent residents grew rapidly. To support the growing population, Browns Bay acquired new stores, churches, a permanent school and numerous clubs. At this point, Browns Bay was the commercial hub of East Coast Bays.
The tipping point for Browns Bay transforming into a suburb of Auckland, rather than the beach resort it once was, occurred in the late 1950’s with the completion of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Browns Bay was connected with the city of Auckland and it hasn’t stopped growing since.