52-storey tower gets ap­proval

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CATHER­INE HAR­RIS

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.

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