The NZ International Convention Centre precinct continues to attract the interest of major developers.
The latest business wanting to move to the area is Hotel Grand Chancellor (Auckland) which has lodged plans for a new 12-level 191-room block on the centre's southern flank.
That will to join:
• the now-open $75m Ramada Hotel and Suites Victoria St with 66 private apartments and 48 hotel apartments;
• the new $65m Sudima Hotel opposite the NZICC on Nelson St. The superstructure is up and cladding is now going on;
• SkyCity's own completed Horizon Hotel in the NZICC block where today interior lights were on, indicating work could be resuming after October's fire.
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Around $2b of hotel construction work is on nationally, with around 1000 new rooms opening in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown in the last year alone.
Grand Chancellor Auckland City operates in the CBD from 1 Hobson St.
"Hotel Grand Chancellor's hotels in Australia are located in Adelaide on Currie Street and Hindley Street, Brisbane, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Palm Cove and Townsville. In New Zealand, our hotels are situated in central Auckland City and the James Cook Wellington," the business says.
Auckland Council has now notified plans for the Grand Chancellor at 78-80 Wellesley St, just down from St Matthew's in the City and almost directly opposite the heritage-scheduled facade of Berlei House, incorporated into the NZICC.
Hotel Grand Chancellor (Auckland) applied to develop the land with a basement on the southern side of Wellesley St between Nelson St and Hobson St.
It amalgamated two lots to give 998sq m and two existing two-level blocks are to be demolished.
The site is opposite the centre being built by Fletcher Construction for SkyCity Entertainment Group. The block will cover most of the site without infringing the Mt Eden view shaft, documents lodged say.
Major demolition works are expected to start at the NZICC this month when Ward Demolition establishes itself on the site.
An Auckland Council spokesperson said no consents have yet been applied for on that work. Partial demolition and investigations are expected to be carried out. Fletcher Construction confirmed this month a workforce of around 200 people.
At the new planned Grand Chancellor, floors two to 10 will have guest rooms. Floor 11 will have guest rooms but also a gym and the building plant and equipment room.
The first floor will have a restaurant and function room, kitchen and service areas and lobby space. Some pruning of existing street trees will be necessary.
Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala, whose business established and owns the national Sudima chain, said the NZICC was a catalyst for new hotels such as his first Sudima in the city's CBD.
The block at the intersection of Nelson St and Wellesley St was directly opposite NZICC and he said it would be finished around July next year.
"What a lot of people don't realise is if there's a 3000-person conference happening, it doesn't mean SkyCity can accommodate them all, so that's why they need hotels around to support them," says Jhunjhnuwala. "Nelson St is being built because of the NZICC, otherwise that site would not be worth half as much. We have a lot of contact with SkyCity.
"The area around our site has been extensively developed in recent years and is now a hub for hospitality, entertainment, events and major conferences, so we are looking forward to introducing a new accommodation choice for leisure and corporate travellers who want a high level of service and comfort in a hotel with a focus on sustainability and social responsibility," he said last year.