PM John Key and Chinese president Xi Jinping unveiled plans for the Wynyard Quarter hotel to be branded a Park Hyatt and in a written statement Madam Chan Lawai, chairwoman of Beijing-headquartered Fu Wah International Group, said she was glad to “commence such a great project in New Zealand. New Zealand has always been friendly to China and is one of the first countries to have signed a trade agreement with China.”
The hotel will be built on the Team New Zealand headquarters Halsey St site, between the distinctive pale Lighter Quarter apartments and the Viaduct Events Centre, opposite the new ASB North Wharf where Halsey St meets Madden St and Jellicoe St.
An application to develop the hotel has been made to Auckland Council, with construction expected to start soon and the hotel to open in 2017, a written statement said.
The six-level 25,000sq m 190-room hotel will have three restaurants, spa and fitness centre, 25m pool and was designed by Singaporean-headquartered architects AR+D working with much-awarded New Zealand business, Bossley Architects. The interior will be by Conran + Partners.
Hyatt was in Auckland for about three decades, managing the big hotel on Waterloo Quadrant opposite Old Government House near the High Court.
The Hyatt was re-branded a Pullman earlier this decade. In January 2011, the Herald reported that the Hyatt sign had disappeared from the roof of one of Auckland’s top hotels and after 26 years the property has a new name.
Chiu Yung, Fu Wah president and the son of Madam Chan, said the new hotel would be a landmark on the waterfront and would be built to very high environmental standards. The group will invest around $200 million in the project, with $2.5 million committed to the development of a public space and art display in the area around the hotel in Wynyard Quarter, to give people access to the marina and water.
“The site of the hotel is special – right on the water of one of the world’s finest harbour settings – so we feel a responsibility to build a landmark hotel. The design is one which meets high environmental standards with an emphasis on unique New Zealand features developed in collaboration with the one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded architects. We are thrilled to be involved in a building and hotel of this scale and quality.
“We are very pleased to have partnered with the Park Hyatt brand. We recently invested into their Melbourne hotel. Their commitment to five star excellence dovetails with the market niche that fits a hotel with the significant features of this offering.
“This is Fu Wah’s first investment into New Zealand but we are exploring a number of other projects. We see significant potential and want to be long-term investors in high quality projects. We are grateful we were able to mark the project by unveiling the model at an event involving China’s President and New Zealand’s Prime Minister. This is very much a partnership between our two countries,” he said in a written statement, released this morning.
Larry Tchou, senior advisor, Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts said the company was excited to share the announcement of a Park Hyatt hotel in Auckland.
“We are grateful to further our relationship with Fu Wah, the owner of Park Hyatt Melbourne, with this new partnership which will bring the first Park Hyatt hotel to New Zealand. Auckland is a key tourist and business destination and we are honoured to collaborate with Fu Wah and Auckland Waterfront for this landmark luxury development.
“This has been an exciting year for the Park Hyatt brand and we are committed to continue to create presence in culturally rich cities like Auckland,” he said.
John Dalzell, chief executive of the Auckland Council-controlled entity Waterfront Auckland, said the five star international quality hotel would be an exemplar project of what the Wynyard Quarter revitalisation is all about.
“The bar was set high with this project: an exceptional design to complement the award winning designs of other buildings and public spaces delivered to date; an investor that was willing to look long term; and an appreciation of the importance of building sustainably.
“Fu Wah has stepped up on all accounts and the result will be a true international standard hotel that, over time, will become a key catalyst for economic activity on the waterfront and the Auckland region as a whole.”
- Anne Gibson
- NZ Herald