Dominion Rd may have missed out on becoming Auckland's official Chinatown, but some Chinese investors still think the precinct is an ideal accommodation spot for Asian tourists.
Auckland Council has confirmed that a resource consent application has been lodged for a 60-room hotel to be constructed at 409 Dominion Rd.
Project managing director Ben Yakun Tsai, 40, said the $20 million, five-storey boutique hotel - called Hotel One - will be constructed at the corner of Dominion Rd and Elizabeth St.
It will have two retail outlets facing the main road, a function room, courtyard and some rooms with baths overlooking Eden Park and views of the Sky Tower.
"We are calling it Hotel One because it is a name that is easy to remember in any language," Tsai said.
He said the rest of the funds were raised mainly from Chinese investors, who shared the view that the precinct would be a great place for tourists to stay.
"The feedback we have from many Chinese visitors is that they like everything about New Zealand except the food," Tsai said.
"Here, restaurants not only offer the food they will enjoy, but also open late ... some until 3am, these are hours the Chinese are familiar with."
The rooms will cost about $200 per night, and will cater to mainly Chinese and Asian tourists.
But due to its close proximity to Eden Park, he was hopeful that the hotel will also be a draw for sports fans, locals, Australians and other independent travellers.
Tsai said the aim was for construction work to begin in August, and for the hotel to be up and running in time for the Chinese New Year holidays in February next year.
The resource consent was lodged on March 23, 2017, under Jiayao Capital Investment Limited.
Auckland Council spokeswoman Joanna Glasswell said: "The application is currently processing and no decisions have been made at this stage."
Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley, who had done studies on the Dominion Rd ethnic precinct, said the hotel development was "a new phase" for the centre.
"Dominion Rd is transitioning into a major non-CBD retail destination, it's attraction is built on the density of food outlets, mostly Asian, offering different food experiences," Spoonley said.
"It is hardly surprising that commercial interests want to add new elements to this retail district."
This is the first hotel of this size being constructed on the street.
A 2015 council study found over six in 10 businesses on the street were Chinese owned and operated, 13 per cent Pakeha, 11 per cent other Asian, 9 per cent Indian and 6 per cent others.
The same study also found Chinese and non-Chinese in the area to be at odds about the precinct being branded "Chinatown".
"It is easy to access familiar food and language, and it is part of the Chinese sub-economy that has emerged in Auckland," Spoonley said.
"There are a lot of different services being offered by Chinese firms along Dominion Rd."
Spoonley said the lower land prices compared to the CBD also made it an attractive location for hotel developers.
Dr Andrew Zhu, director of Trace Research, said hotel accommodation in the precinct could also potentially meet the demands of international students needing short term stay.
But Zhu expected high-end tourists will continue to seek hotels in more "prestigious locations" and those that were internationally recognised.
"Social status matters to this segment of consumers, therefore Dominion Rd might not be their first choice," Zhu added.