Auckland's Queen St is about to get a "posh" new food offering.
Queen's Rise, containing nine eateries, is set to open as part of a new development early next year. It is on the first level of the old Bank of New Zealand building at 125 Queen St, known as 125Q.
Developer Duncan Elley said Special Situations Assets Ltd acquired the building at 125 Queen St around two years ago after it had been vacant for five years. He said their goal is to deliver premium office, retail and dining space to the Auckland market.
"We saw [the building] as a real opportunity. It's a great building in a fantastic location with a beautiful heritage facade."
The ground floor of the building will be retail, the first floor is the Queen's Rise dining precinct, the second floor is health and fitness, the third floor is childcare and then levels four to 28 will be office space. It is expected the building will house up to 1500 occupants.
Elley said over half the eateries in the Queen's Rise have been tenanted.
One of those tenants Ruairi Hatrick is starting up a mix of a "breakfast bar, potato joint and watering hole" called Potato and Me.
He got the idea eight years ago when him and his former girlfriend went on "posh chip dates" in Scotland. They'd buy a bag of chips and load it with fancy toppings like gherkins, pickled onions and French cheeses.
Hatrick always thought someone should specialise in selling posh chips, so when he was approached by the Queen's Rise in 2014 he decided it was time to make it happen.
"This is a really great opportunity to give it a go and see what happens."
Hatrick said they would sell potato or kumara chips with different-flavoured salts and sides like chilli jam and bloody-mary ketchup.
Hatrick's business will run from 7am to 11pm until he works out the busy times.
There's a strong need for a premium food court in the city, said Hatrick. From looking at the plans he thinks the space will look "worldly and established from the get go".
"I'm not the biggest fan of the CBD but I feel like it needed something different and some energy put back into it. I want to be a part of that.
"I think it's going to look really, really nice."
Elley said they spent a lot on getting the right fit out with mosaic tiles and clever lighting.
The eateries range from 24 square meters to 108 square meters and each will have their own seating. Elley said that businesses providing Mediterranean, Japanese, modern Kiwi, Thai and gastro pub cuisine have signed contracts.
"It's like a congregation of small restaurants."
Elley said the dining precinct should open at the start of 2017, after the office space opens from November this year.
Colliers International are marketing the building.