NZX listed landlord Kiwi Property has indicated uncertainty about its $100 million new Sylvia Park office block because of the pandemic and a less certain commercial market.
A Kiwi spokesman said today: "No final decision has been made on the timing for construction of Sylvia Park tower two, but given the uncertainty in the market it's important we move ahead in line with tenant demand and economic conditions."
Kiwi planned originally to build a 15-level block in what is now a carpark on the Mt Wellington Highway but in March, increased it to 17 levels and said back then it was talking to a hotel business about operating accommodation on the top levels.
Pre-pandemic, Greg Tolley, Kiwi development manager for the project, said a 70m or 17-level block was planned to be built in what is now ground-level parking across the internal Sylvia Park road from the nine-level ANZ Raranga, the first stand-alone tower at the site.
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"Three thousand people will work in the two buildings and the key for us is the railway station," Tolley said five months ago, telling how only 30 per cent of tenants in the first block use cars to get to work.
A Kiwi spokesman said at the time that the extra height "comes down to us now having greater clarity of the building's design and configuration".
But that has all changed now and Kiwi has indicated a reluctance to move on the project at this point.
Kiwi to commission Australia's Woods Baggot and Auckland's Peddle Thorp to design the new building.
Accommodation for 1800 office workers, a 140-room hotel, ground-level office and hotel reception areas and shops were planned for the new block but a construction contract is yet to be let.
Naylor Love is head contractor on Kiwi's $258 million Galleria, now nearing completion, and the 900-space carpark alongside, which is already operating.
In March, Tolley said: "This will be an iconic marker for Sylvia Park, right from the Tip Top Corner."
The new block was to be five floors of the hotel, nine of office, a service level with plant and hotel back of house areas, and two floors made up of retail, dining and the double-height hotel and office lobby.
Last November, Kiwi chief executive Clive Mackenzie said: "We are well advanced in terms of discussions with international hotel operators but we're looking at combining a hotel with offices in 15 levels," he said. Kiwi also released the first plans for the new building yesterday showing the 10-level and 15-level blocks side by side.
That new site now has around 150 carparks on flat asphalt but Mackenzie said the loss of those carparks was of no concern because Kiwi was now well advanced developing its new south car park for 900 vehicles "and we've found with the first building that over 70 per cent are on public transport" he said of office workers.
The new 19,000sq m Galleria shopping centre with 60 extra shops and a two-level Farmers is due to open shortly. French cosmetics retailer Sephora and beauty brand Victoria's Secret have been tipped to be among those who have secured highly coveted spots but Kiwi has said nothing about that.
While Victoria's Secret has traded in New Zealand for a while, the rumours of a second Sephora store at Sylvia Park comes after the company opened its inaugural store on Queen Street earlier this year.