New Zealand building projects don't get much bigger than $941 million revamp of Commercial Bay on Auckland's waterfront.

The largest commercial and retail development in the country is set to introduce new shops, offices, dining, restaurant and hotel areas, and underground railway tunnels.

Commercial Bay's home on the city's waterfront.
Commercial Bay's home on the city's waterfront.

The project is already well underway, with a large tower, set to bear the PwC name, already at level 34 of 39. This is a structural steel framed building, so quite radical compared to most construction methods used in NZ.

Beyond the sheer size of the endeavour, there's added complexity in that all the development is occurring on a challengingly tight site below sea level.

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Construction of the 40-level tower is at L34.
Construction of the 40-level tower is at L34.

The development is set to further shake up the retail scene in Auckland, with H&M already claiming a space on the corner of Lower Queen and Customs St West. Opening in August, it was the first of more than 100 stores set to occupy the space.

August also came with the announcement that global hotel brand InterContinental would be opening at 1 Queen Street.

Read more: Commercial Bay project delayed again, this time by six months

The impressive hotel would have 244 rooms, a meeting room suite, club lounge, gym, restaurants and bars, he said, with an outdoor, open rooftop hospitality venue which will be open to the public, spanning around 500sq m.

Plans for Commercial Bay provide a glimpse at the future of the area. Photo / Supplied via Warren and Mahoney
Plans for Commercial Bay provide a glimpse at the future of the area. Photo / Supplied via Warren and Mahoney

There'll also be various new food options - and they're set to come with a view that overlooks the waterfront from Quay Street.

This is only a small taste of what's to come. More than 70 per cent of the PwC tower has been leased. There are 257 carparks, all for tenants, with no public spaces.

But fortunately, there won't be much need for a car once you're in the area.

Project director Dave Johnston of Precinct explains the space is being designed to make it as easy and comfortable as possible Kiwis to move between the transport hubs and shops.

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He says there'll be a laneway that's going to allow people to move all the from lower Queen Street to lower Albert Street right through the middle of the site.

The redeveloped site will feature extensive outdoor space for Kiwis to enjoy on foot. Photo / Supplied via Warren and Mahoney
The redeveloped site will feature extensive outdoor space for Kiwis to enjoy on foot. Photo / Supplied via Warren and Mahoney

It will also connect the Britomart Train Station with the new lower Albert Street bus terminus, meaning Kiwis won't have much reason to endure city centre traffic.

While there have been a few delays thus far, the project developers are confident the new hub will officially open in spring next year.

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