One of China's wealthiest women is planning to build a 435-unit apartment and retail complex worth up to $400 million in Auckland.
Fu Wah New Zealand has lodged resource consent with Auckland Council, seeking permission to build on an entire block at the rapidly expanding Wynyard Quarter.
Fu Wah is also building the $300m Park Hyatt on Auckland's waterfront, which is expected to be finished around June next year.
The Fu Wah group is founded and chaired by Chan Laiwa, said to be one of China's richest women. Her family is estimated by Forbes to be worth US$4 billion ($6b).
Richard Aitken, Fu Wah NZ local general manager, said the proposed new apartment block would be between Pakenham, Gaunt, Daldy and Beaumont streets.
Aitken gave an estimate of the projected costs for the apartment project:
"This would see another $350m to $400m investment from us with work targeted to commence in 2020," he said, citing the America's Cup and Apec as key upcoming events.
Fu Wah is the business which is bringing in Chinese workers on the Park Hyatt and has a train venture and Queenstown hotel on the cards too.
"The Beijing-based investment company is also investing outside Auckland," the company's statement said. "It is the major shareholder developing the Antipodean Explorer luxury train service and is looking at Queenstown sites for another hotel project."
The luxury train venture could carry high-paying guests from Auckland to Queenstown during a six-day run.
The company's first venture here is its Park Hyatt and Chan was in New Zealand two years ago for a ground-breaking at the Auckland's waterfront site with then-prime minister Sir John Key.
At the time, Chan outlined a major expansion plan here, and noted New Zealand was the first developed country in the world to sign a free-trade agreement with China.
Speaking via an interpreter, she said: "We will also invest in three, four and five-star hotels in New Zealand. Fu Wah wants to invest in other brands of hotels," she said, referring to buying and developing existing properties.
The new site is near the Air New Zealand world headquarters and Datacom House. A spokesman said a mixture of older buildings were on the site, which was used partly for marine-related business activities.
Last year, Fu Wah spoke out against rising construction costs which are fast making investment in vital tourism infrastructure uneconomic. Fu Wah International chairman Chiu Yung says the Park Hyatt hotel his company was building on the former Team New Zealand site on Halsey St was over budget.