Part of an office and commercial block built on land once bought for one of the highest prices per square metre paid in Napier at the time could be redeveloped for one of the world's biggest hotel chains.

The four-storey PwC Centre on the corner of Munro and Raffles Sts, owned by Napier-based Thackeray Trust, is on a 1152sq m site which once contained several historic Napier cottages. The five properties were demolished or removed after being bought from a single owner for about $950,000 about 15 years ago.

It made way for a new office block built over a 14-month period by Herbert Construction and which was completed in March 2007 as the biggest office-block construction in Napier since the 1987 stock market crash.

The price was understood to be about double the going-rate per ace for commercial land in the Napier CBD periphery about that time.

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The building, which houses the Napier offices of global accountancy network PwC and several other tenancies, and which has a basement carpark, was put on the market late last year but has not sold.

Now it could be home to more than 50 serviced apartments to be operated by Sebel Hotel, which has made moves into Auckland at Viaduct Basin, West Auckland and Manukau, in Tauranga and Lower Hutt, but several of the ground floor tenancies are expected to remain in place.

Sebel is part of the France-based Accor Hotels network of more than 4000 sites in 90 countries worldwide, including establishments under the Novotel and Ibis brands and others.

A conditional certificate of compliance has been issued by the Napier City Council enabling the upper three floors to be transformed into the accommodation, and some refurbishment of the ground floor expected to include hotel reception and other facilities, including a gym, and some current ground-floor occupants.