The company planning a new 37-level $200 million hotel for Auckland is now eyeing Queenstown and Wellington for expansion.

Plans for a 37-level, 490-room, $200m Auckland Holiday Inn Express/Even hotel tower were revealed yesterday.

Tim Sherlock, managing director of Australia's Pro-invest Developments which is part of the Sydney-headquartered Pro-invest Group, said yesterday his company was also planning to build in Queenstown, looking at Wellington and elsewhere.

"Our entrance into New Zealand is through Queenstown and our intention is to look at the Wellingtons of this world," he said.


Pro-invest's plans for a new Holiday Inn Express/Even hotel on Auckland's Wyndham St/Albert St corner were revealed in the Herald yesterday.

In March, Sherlock said the company would build a 227-room $60m-plus Holiday Inn Express on the corner of Stanley, Sydney and Melbourne sts in Queenstown's centre. That would be able to accommodate about 450 people, Sherlock said then.

An image of the new block was also released.

If Pro-invest's plans for Auckland and Queenstown proceed, it will have added 717 new rooms to the hotel stock here. Sherlock said this was much-needed.

"There's clearly a shortage of hospitality offerings in New Zealand. The market is very buoyant so as an Australian group, it's a logical progression," he said.

The Queenstown project was advancing according to plan.

"We have resource consent [application] in with the council at the moment," he said yesterday.

Pro-invest plans to spend about a quarter of a billion dollars in New Zealand.


Construction of the Queenstown building is due to start later this year and the hotel is scheduled to open either next year or in 2019.

Pro-invest's web site shows a time lapse of the Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central, which opened in April, news about it bringing the brand to Melbourne CBD and the arrival of the American Even hotel chain.

Even was new to Australasia, Pro-invest emphasised late last year.

"International investment firm Pro-invest Group and IHG announced an exclusive agreement to develop a portfolio of Even hotels across Australian and New Zealand capital cities and economic hubs. The brand is an industry first; no other hotel brand provides a holistic wellness experience in the same way and it will be the first time that it will be developed outside the US.

"Pro-invest recognises that health and wellness is one of the fastest growing industries in the region and has partnered with IHG to capitalise on the trend," the business said on October 20.