$200m hotel to start in 2016

2732d2a065c325feee5f01f2d26371c5175b91fb_620x311Work on a $200 million luxury hotel on Auckland’s waterfront will start next year after the project was granted resource consent this week.

Auckland Council’s Panuku Development Auckland branch made the announcement this morning. The building will be one of the largest Chinese investments in New Zealand infrastructure.

The hotel – to be referred to as the Park Hyatt Auckland – will be managed by the world-renowned Hyatt Group and will be built with the help of the Fu Wah International Group, which announced its plans for the hotel in November.

The group will invest around $200 million in the project, with $2.5 million going to the development of a new space for the public immediately around the hotel, which will be located at Wynyard Quarter.

The building will bring an element of extravagance to the area, standing at seven storeys high.

It will have 195 rooms, a ballroom, entertainment facilities, health centre and day spa and will have a total floor area of 29,000sq m.

Panuku Development Auckland’s interim chief, John Dalzell, said having a quality hotel in the city would create a new standard of “premium accommodation” in the region.

“This is a landmark site for Wynyard Quarter and is deserving of a building of the standard the developer and its design team have come up with,” he said.

“It’s great to see it pass this latest milestone and we look forward to the positive impact the hotel will have on the waterfront and the region.”

Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism John Key yesterday praised the new hotel, saying that it would provide a huge boost for local tourism.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown, who is in China, said that such a hotel would help not only to attract the very rich to Auckland, but would also create more jobs in the city’s business district.

“This hotel means more jobs and a strong step into the lucrative but largely untapped high-net-worth individuals tourism sector – which will be a huge benefit to Auckland’s economy and future.”

The hotel will open in 2017.


  • NZ Herald

Auckland’s waterfront regeneration


Planned laneways for Wynyard Quarter

Much has been said about the waterfront’s role in the revitalisation of Auckland in recent years. The opening up of Wynyard Quarter and Queens Wharf with new public spaces, bars, restaurants and commercial spaces has transformed Aucklanders’ connection with the water’s edge.


A new commercial building proposed for Halsey St, Wynyard Quarter

When you factor in this is just the start of a 25-year project, we’re looking at a level of urban regeneration not seen before in the central city. This requires robust planning and stakeholder engagement, smart investment in public infrastructure, strategic land and asset ownership, and harnessed private sector investment, with a goal of building one of the world’s best urban communities.

The ability of our organisation to span public and private sectors has been instrumental to the work achieved thus far. The quality of plans, the sustainability and design elements of the proposed development and the public’s support, are all far higher than would have been the case if either the public or the private sector alone had been tasked with developing the waterfront.

The strategic use of public investment in infrastructure has played a critical role in this regard. By establishing public spaces and streetscapes to an outstanding level of design, sustainability and excellence, we have signalled to the investment market the type and quality of development we are seeking.

Projects such as Jellicoe St, North Wharf, Westhaven Promenade, Karanga Plaza, and Daldy St Park are demonstrations of how we envisage the entire Wynyard Quarter and waterfront developing.

The financial leverage of these investments in infrastructure is tangible. We have carefully structured partnership arrangements with our lead investors and developers in a way that will ensure Auckland’s ratepayers have a share of the value uplift as the surrounding sites are developed. Equally important are intangible benefits in how the public and private spaces will knit together.


Plans for apartments and townhouses in the area

That has not happened in isolation, as right from the start, it’s been recognised that activity makes a community as much as the hard infrastructure. That is why we emphasise place-making — ensuring that well-planned activities and events activate the wonderful public spaces that we are designing and developing.

This lays the groundwork for the community we are striving to attract and from that point it has been all about a preparedness to look at a new way of partnering with the private sector. This requires an allocation of risk and reward relative to the set of development tasks the partnership entails to ensure there is a fair and equitable return for the parties involved.

That approach enables us to look at areas of innovation in the progression of a more sustainable and liveable approach to the next phase of development which will include a new Park Hyatt Hotel, a range of residential living options and a commitment to a vibrant and growing hub of commercial space.

The new development partnership agreements include not only “essential outcomes” that developers must adhere to but also stretch targets. This results in developments that provide better liveability and sustainability than other comparable developments across the city. An independent design review process and new tools such as a custom Wynyard Quarter Green Star Rating tool have been developed to support this progressive approach.


Artists impression of Daldy St.

A quality assurance mechanism is critical too and as developments get underway, we will work with our investor/development partners to monitor their performance in achieving both the essential outcomes and the stretch targets.

To achieve the above requires strong leadership with vision at a governance and management level playing a critical part in building community participation and partnerships with business and stakeholders.

A commitment to international relationship-making to foster and open and collaborative exchange have helped in this regard by providing access to the best international thinking. A string of awards both locally and internationally in recent years has been a testimony to this.

There is immense interest and the potential now to reframe the Auckland Council’s role in urban regeneration for the region in the future, building what has been delivered on the waterfront in the last eight years.

John Dalzell is Chief Executive of Waterfront Auckland.


  • NZ Herald

Wynyard Quarter prepares for sale

2f641613c484b7c60eba5248428caefb5bb50094_620x311Pre-sales of the first of 500 to 600 new Wynyard Quarter apartments start in February and the first show-home is being built.

Mark McGuinness and Roger Twose of developer Willis Bond & Co which won the right to build 17 buildings on five blocks of land said they were yet to chose real estate agencies to market the places, which are set to create a new mini-suburb with thousands of people around Auckland’s waterfront.

A 320sq m steel-framed display suite rising on Daldy St will give buyers the first taste of the new places and McGuinness said that steel-framed structure alongside the new 38m-wide Daldy Street Park had been designed to be moved to another site as the development progressed.

Willis Bond won an international design and tender process for two leasehold blocks – a waterfront site on the corner of Halsey and Madden Sts overlooking the Viaduct Harbour and four sites in the heart of Wynyard Quarter, bounded by Daldy, Beaumont, Madden and Pakenham Sts.

But Willis Bond lost the tender to build the new Park Hyatt hotel, awarded to Chinese developer Fu Wah.

Twose said one-bedroom apartments would sell from about $600,000 and work would start on the first two blocks of land next year, finishing late 2017 to early 2018.

Those initial two blocks in the $750 million scheme will be;

The 10-level Wynyard Central, designed by Architectus, which steps down to lower levels towards the north, on the corner of Daldy and Madden St. That block will have 120 apartments.

A seven-level 25m block, designed by Athfield Architects, at the intersection of Halsey St and Madden St, now home to a black glass building leased to Ateed and sub-tenants. That block at 132 Halsey St will have 60 apartments.

Details of three other blocks have also been released – East 2 by Architectus and West 1 and West 2, both by Studio Pacific Architecture.

McGuinness said about 800 carparks would be built and Twose said that would be in a single level beneath each block.

Each apartment would have about 1.2 carparks, McGuinness said.

Apartments in Site 7 would sell for more than East 1 due to that new block’s proximity to the waterfront, they said.

The apartments will be built during the next eight to 10 years and funded through a Willis Bond business.

In 2009, Willis Bond Capital Partners raised $128 million but that was fully invested by early this year so in April, a second fund, Willis Bond Capital Partners II raised nearly $100 million.

“Investors in the funds include the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, the Government Superannuation Fund, Accident Compensation Corporation and a number of high net worth individuals,” a company statement said.

McGuinness said these included TradeMe’s Sam Morgan and that the firm had $1 billion of projects under way.

McGuinness said he co-founded Willis Bond in 1988 and established Pencarrow Private Equity with Morrison & Co in 1994.

His first major development was Chews Lane Precinct which started in 2004, a $180 million mixed-use scheme in the heart of Wellington.

Twose is a former Black Cap who worked as a senior manager of corporate finance at National Bank, heading its syndications and agency section.

Willis Bond has other Auckland work on, including a 7.4ha block Hobsonville Pt block where it will build the 211-residence Sunderland on Housing NZ Corporation’s land on the city’s northwest fringe.

One of Willis Bond’s largest project was Wellington’s Clyde Quay Wharf – a $170 million restaurant and apartment project on the old Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Leasehold on that Wellington wharf was prepaid for 125 years, the same as in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, but McGuinness said he could not say how much was paid to Waterfront Auckland due to confidentiality arrangements.

Wynyard apartment buyers will not have ongoing leasehold payments because their money pays for the entire 125-year lease.


  • Anne Gibson
  • NZ Herald

Auckland – $10 Billion do-up

CBDprojectsAuckland is being rebuilt before our eyes, as projects worth at least $10 billion-plus rise across the city.

In one of its biggest transformations, a series of infrastructure, education, roading, commercial, retail, housing and prison projects are rising or planned; much of which is simply catch-up after the global financial crisis.

But economic growth, Auckland’s fast expansion, a critical shortage of residential accommodation, desperate need for big new housing estates, the development of entire new town centres to meet demands, expansion of the workforce, rising population, requirements for better university and school buildings, consumer demand for bigger and better supermarkets, and extending our roading network are just some of the drivers.

The biggest project now on is the $1.5 billion -$2.5 billion Long Bay housing estate and town centre.

Yet Todd Property has only just begun and it will be many years before this vast, controversial new suburb on rolling grassland above the regional park is finished.

The $1.4 billion Waterview twin tunnels motorway job is the second biggest now on but the $2.4 billion City Rail Link (CRL) and a $2.4 billion job at Auckland International Airport will top the other jobs.

Property purchases have been made to secure the CRL route but construction is yet to start, while at the airport planning is well advanced for its big transformation.

A string of projects are in the $1 billion league: the new $1 billion Westgate town centre is now well under way by the privately owned NZ Retail Property Group; the University of Auckland’s $1 billion spend planned over a decade is also well advanced; the $1 billion Wynyard Quarter CBD waterfront urban renewal, which will see hundreds of new apartments, a six-star hotel, new transport links, offices, shops and cafes; and the $1 billion Britomart transformation, which is yet to see a big new group of office blocks or a new hotel, all on the drawing board.

After a lull of some years, apartment building is again popular, and private developer Robert Holden, a former Bayleys real estate agent, is one of the busiest with four big jobs including the new Urba now rising by the motorway in Freemans Bay.

Construction work ground almost to a halt last decade when a number of developers folded, taking many finance companies with them.

Now, demand has risen, money is easier to get and tower cranes dot the skyline. The work is not being funded by mum and dad investors, buying bonds in mezzanine finance companies. Much of this work is backed by our major trading banks, extremely keen to lend to businesses with strong balance sheets, like giant $1.7 billion-plus Precinct Properties, which is required to be transparent about its accounting because it is NZX-listed.

Banks are also solidly backing Ryman Healthcare which has a $710 million Auckland spend-up planned after buying many hectares of land across the city.

But the taxpayer is also footing the bill: the Government is a huge player, pouring money into the transport network and other infrastructure and educational work.

To see a city change before your eyes, don’t blink. Watch this space.


  • Anne Gibson
  • The Herald

5-Star for Auckland waterfront

Construction of a $200 million 5-star hotel on Auckland’s waterfront is expected to start next year with Chinese funding.

Auckland Council mayor Len Brown has confirmed the 200-room hotel in Wynyard Quarter will be developed in partnership between council organisation Waterfront Auckland and Beijing-based property developer Fu Wah International Group. The hotel was expected to open by 2017.

078b08eb3bd9268335680fa58a48cbfe8ba8066a_620x311The $200m investment by Fu Wah Group was believed to be one of the largest foreign investments in public infrastructure in New Zealand, Brown said. ‘‘The hotel will provide a boost in job numbers and be instrumental in attracting high net worth individuals to visit Auckland, a segment recently identified by the tourism industry as still largely untapped.’’

PricewaterhouseCoopers economic analysis estimated the hotel will create more than 1300 fulltime jobs and add more than $100m to Auckland’s GDP during construction. Once completed the hotel was expected to add more than 750 jobs and generate more than $50m to the region’s GDP per year.

Brown said Fu Wah was chosen after a process which began in 2012.

The Chinese tourism market is worth $670m a year to New Zealand and the Tourism Industry Association expects this to double over the next five years.

Brown said having a Chinese developer and a yet to be selected premium hotel brand will help attract wealthy Chinese tourists.

He said the deal meant Waterfront Auckland and the council could maintain ownership of its strategic assets, but leverage them using private funding.


  • Josh Martin
  • Fairfax NZ
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