Auckland icon gets new life
An iconic Auckland Council tower in the heart of the city is getting a major upgrade and a new owner after sitting mothballed for two years.
The 18 storey Civic Administration Building in Aotea Square, on the corner of Greys Avenue and Mayoral Dr will undergo redevelopment to form a commercial, retail, childcare, hospitality and accommodation hub, including a hotel with about 100 rooms.
The private development, dubbed Civic Quarter, will begin around this time next year and will be completed by the end of 2020. Ratepayers will not foot the bill, expected to be between $200 million and $300m.
The building, designed in the mid-1950s and built in 1966, was in need of major upgrades including restoring the external facade, earthquake strengthening, asbestos removal and rebuilding of infrastructure such as air conditioning and electrical systems.
It has not been used since council staff were moved out in 2014.
A 2014 council report presented three options for the future of the building: refurbishment into a modern office, conversion into a residential building or demolition.
The city’s urban development agency, Panuku Development Auckland, has selected Tawera Group to restore the building after an international tender process.
Tawera Group would buy the building and surrounding land off the council. The sale price has not been finalised.
Principal John Love said the number of apartments had not been decided but about 10 per cent would be affordable homes under $650,000.
The tower had a floor area of 12,000 square metres and the entire development was about 45,000sqm, he said.
The company specialises in retro-fitting buildings, with projects including Hereford Residences, Hopetoun Residences, St James Apartments and 132 Vincent St apartments.
‘‘We do specialise in taking old buildings that are no longer fit for the original purpose and reinvigorating and reinventing them,’’ Love said.
Mayor Len Brown said it would be good for the council to get the building off its hands.
‘‘It was going to be a great big noose around our neck,’’ Brown said.
‘‘The developer are taking on the risk.’’
The Auckland City Council Civic Administration building on Greys Avenue has not been used since 2014.