A 150-room international hotel is planned to be built on a prime Tauranga downtown site, boosting hopes it will underpin the revival of the city centre.
The development on the corner of Spring St and Durham St would replace the 57-year-old former Public Trust Building and add to the momentum already under way with the nearby construction of Trustpower's new $25 million head office.
Tauranga City Council has issued a consent for the 13-level building which will feature a tower and podium.
The applicant is Spring Street Holdings Ltd, a company registered in October last year and whose sole director and shareholder was Jonathon Brett McColl.
Mr McColl said he was fronting for a consortium but would not comment further until he had consulted with the other parties to the development. He indicated the project had been undergoing due diligence.
It will be the second development proposal for the site which was bought by Barrie Harnett in 2010 for $5 million. Mr Harnett's original plan for the 2500sq m site was for a three-storey office and retail development.
Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby did not see the project as competition for the council-owned site opposite Baycourt, which had been the subject of two unsuccessful proposals for an internationally-branded hotel.
"It's all good, whether the council facilitates a hotel development or it is all done by the private sector."
Mr Crosby said a hotel would bring more people, vibrancy and confidence into the central city.
The difference with this project was that the applicant had reached first base by investing in getting a resource consent," he said.
"They would not do this unless they were reasonably confident."
He said there had always been interest in the council's Durham St property and a development would happen sooner or later.
The consent said the tower section of the development would align with Durham St and contain the hotel rooms, suites and penthouse apartments. It would be finished in dark grey with bronze facades, with recessed balconies.
The podium included the conference centre, restaurant, bar, gymnasium and pool.
Land-use consent was needed because the application did not fit some council planning rules. The lift shafts exceeded maximum heights by 2m and it fell about 7 per cent short of the 75 per cent glazing requirement.
The council was satisfied that the blank wall along Spring St associated with the raised terrace would be treated in a way that ensured interaction with the pedestrian environment.
Boffa Miskell consultants handled the consent on behalf of Spring St Holdings.
It said the new hotel represents a significant investment in Tauranga's city centre and a positive contribution to the area.
The application listed the property owners BG and KL Harnett and JRF Trustee Company Ltd, a Tauranga-based investment company.
Tauranga's planned new hotel
•150 rooms, nine suites and eight penthouse apartments
•Bar and restaurant
•Conference facilities for 600 people
•Spa, gymnasium and indoor pool
•Basement parking for 102 cars