52-storey tower gets approval
A long-awaited $350 million tower block including a Ritz Carlton hotel in Auckland has been given approval by the Overseas Investment Office.
The 52-storey building is set to be built by Furu Ding’s company NDG on a long-vacant corner bounded by Elliott, Albert and Victoria streets.
If built as originally planned, the 209-metre tower block will be New Zealand’s tallest inhabited building, beaten in height only by the Sky Tower.
Ding, a Chinese businessman, purchased the site in 2012 for $53m, when he was also granted permission to buy a block of land in Waitakere, saying he planned to live here indefinitely.
According to OIO documentation, the hotel will feature 300 guest rooms over four levels.
Another six storeys will be for retail, along with a basement level for shopping and five basement levels for car parking.
Progress on the site will be a relief to some, who have seen several grand plans for the site come and go over the last three decades.
The Elliott St site was once the site of the Royal International Hotel but became a carpark after the hotel’s demolition.
The previous owner, Korean company Dae Ju, wanted to build a 67-level $450m skyscraper, to no avail.
The Elliott St building joins a number of other major projects to get underway recently including the $200m Park Hyatt hotel on Auckland’s waterfront being built by China’s Fu Wah Group.
Other major projects include Precinct Properties’ 39-storey PWC tower where the old Downtown shopping centre stood; the Wynyard Quarter apartment and commercial precinct on the waterfront; and the City Rail Link.
A lawyer for NDG said the timing of the Elliot St building would be dependent on the CRL which is being built underneath.
Ding’s NDG Asia Pacific subsidiary is in charge of the project and is based in Singapore, where it owns the Harcourts franchise.
According to NDG’s website, the company has total assets worth NZ$1 billion.
It also owns the Shanghai Marriott Changfeng Park.