A building in Auckland's central business district once known to some as the "centrepiece of Auckland's fashion industry" is set for a $20m facelift.

The facelift of the iconic 246 Queen St will mark a revival for the street as other stakeholders move to rejuvenate the area's buildings and land, Wilshire Group Ltd sales manager Christie Wrightson says.

246 was built by Sir Robert Kerridge and opened in 1956. Its original foundation tenants included El Jay Chapeau, the exclusive Christian Dior Boutique, Scandinavian furniture store Danske Møbler and the Gold Room restaurant.

Architects Fearon Hay has been commissioned to re-imagine and renovate the historic site.


The intent was to restore the site to its former glory while "accommodating the needs of forward-thinking businesses, retailers and hospitality operators", Wrightson said.

The building would have a mix of commercial, retail and hospitality options. Image / Supplied
The building would have a mix of commercial, retail and hospitality options. Image / Supplied

The new development could provide the right space for an international retailer looking to establish a flagship store in New Zealand, she said

The building is nestled in Auckland's CBD, a burgeoning spot for revival with the opening of the new Aotea Square.

"It's a change from being a student area to a commercial and retail hub."

She understood the old ANZ buildings on the street had been bought and there were plans for a hotel on the land currently occupied by a parking lot.

"It is an area that is undergoing a change in the coming years, particularly the Aotea Square we see that as puller of a bigger amount of people," Wrightson said.

The landmark eight-storey building, with dual entry from Queen St and Lorne St, would have prime location sitting within 250m from the new Aotea Station

Architects Fearon Hay will work with materials and a colour palette that gave a nod to building's construction era.


They had also designed a new central atrium that would maximise natural light from the original lightwell.

Demolition works will begin later this month with construction planned to begin October 2018, led by Alaska Construction.

Wrightson said commercial businesses could operate as early as January 2020 and retailers could operate as early as the fourth quarter of 2019.