Property editor of the NZ Herald

SkyCity has plans to expand in Federal St

Sky City is expanding. Photo / Richard Robinson
Sky City is expanding. Photo / Richard Robinson

SkyCity Entertainment Group is planning extensive outdoor dining on Federal St, pushing out from around Depot and The Federal Deli to in front of The Grill and Masu.

Auckland Council has received a resource consent application for new outdoor dining and seating areas within the newly-developed shared space on the public road, but Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Graeme Ramsey is worried.

"The Federal St entertainment hub looks like it's all about getting local people close to the casino. We know there is a clear link between proximity and gambling problems," Ramsey said.

Consultants Barker and Associates prepared an environmental effects assessment, saying those outdoor areas would form part of "SkyCity's entertainment precinct".

"A number of new food and beverage outlets along both sides of Federal St were consented between 2010 and 2012," Barker said.

The casino and original hotel was consented in 1992.

Meanwhile, in a separate deal, SkyCity announced last month that a new hotel would be built on the ex-TVNZ site it bought, rather than a convention centre, which will now be built alongside.

But a spokeswoman defended this, saying the hotel was always planned but not previously announced.

"SkyCity owns a block of land on which it has always envisaged building a convention centre and a hotel," she said.

"During master planning, it was determined that the most rational use of the available land was a regular shaped building for the New Zealand International Convention Centre with an adjacent hotel.

"The Crown accepted this concept design as a better outcome than the options that were being considered in the pre-concept phase.

"The design decision provides a superior outcome for Auckland."

- NZ Herald

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