Chinese property investors have joined with a New Zealand developer to plan a $250 million Auckland apartment block - the largest development of its kind since the global financial crisis.

Lily Investment FTC, a Chinese investment consortium which is also undertaking a $27 million, 100-section Flat Bush subdivision, is working with local developer Wayne Allen to build SugarTree, an 11-level, 152-apartment block in the central business district.

Project manager Darren Brown said existing low-rise buildings would be demolished soon in time for building work next year at 145-147 Nelson St and 27 Union St.

Resource consent for the first stage was granted and completion was scheduled for the end of 2014. Stages two and three were planned to be completed 18 months later, Brown said.


Capital for big ventures was difficult to source, he said.

"The reality is there's an absolute shortage of funding for projects like this because New Zealand banks are still very conservative."

The Chinese consortium had completed a $1 billion 3500 apartment complex in Hunan Province, Brown said.

One-bedroom 45sq m-65sq m apartments would sell from $295,000, he said, and Auckland Council had been extremely supportive.