Green light for NZ's tallest building
Auckland planners say the construction of a $350 million tower block announced this afternoon will only add to the city centre's growing revitalisation.
The 209 metre-tall Auckland Centre is expected to be New Zealand's second tallest commercial building, eclipsed only by the 328m Sky Tower.
It will stand on one of Auckland's oldest vacant lots at the corner of Elliott and Victoria St.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown said that the building would be a world-class development which would create hundreds of new jobs, "energise the CBD and boost Auckland's GDP".
Standing 52 storeys, the mixed-use building is being constructed by Shanghai-based New Development Group.
It is due for completion in 2020 and will include a 302-room hotel and entertainment complex, apartments, a shopping centre, restaurants, a cinema and observation decks, and is on the route of the City Rail Link.
Building consents are expected to be secured next year.
Brown said the project was an example of the major commercial opportunities created by the City Rail Link project.
Private investors have so far confirmed more than a billion dollars of investments along the proposed route, including a $300m retail and office block by Precinct Properties and the $400m-plus New Zealand International Convention Centre.
Auckland Council "design champion" Ludo Campbell-Reid said the central city was seeing something of a revival, with disused sites becoming viable again, "and design that references a revived city centre where people are considered first and foremost".
Below the building will be six levels of car parking and at its base will be an eight-level retail podium.
The site has been used as a car park since the 1980s, when the Royal International Hotel was demolished.