Auckland's $1 billion 39-level Commercial Bay office tower gets its official topping off today even though it is about a year away from completion.

Executives from around the world are now gathering in Auckland to mark the significant event at the waterfront tower where cladding has reached near the top.

One invitee told the Herald about today's event, but the new PwC Tower's owner is playing it down and seeking no publicity.

Scott Pritchard, chief executive of NZX listed Precinct Properties NZ, gave no details this week but acknowledged that an event was planned but said it would not be open to media.


It might be possible to visit the tower later this year, he said.

Representatives from architects Warren and Mahoney in Auckland and Woods Bagot in the United States, along with Fletcher Construction and Precinct staff could all be in attendance.

The tower took much longer to build than initially expected.

In late May, Precinct announced it would not only take even longer but also cost more.

The total cost for the redevelopment of the former Downtown shopping centre at the bottom of Auckland's Queen Street would now be $690-$700m, versus its February forecast of $690m, Precinct said last month.

The retail centre won't be completed in March next year and the PwC office tower to be done in April next year.

The company has revealed "minor slippage" of about a month to the construction programme "which may impact previously disclosed completion dates of September 2019 for retail and December 2019 for office".

Pritchard said this year that, "as previously stated, the last two months have been critical in progressing the project, and it is unfortunate to have to confirm that we have observed further slippage beyond what we observed earlier this year".


That was the latest in a series of previously announced delays.

Commercial Bay's PwC Tower in March. Photo/Jason Oxenham
Commercial Bay's PwC Tower in March. Photo/Jason Oxenham

The retail centre was originally expected to open by October 2018, with the office tower completed by mid-2019.

The potential increase of $10m reflects the cost of delays to opening, Precinct said.

The revised opening date for the retail centre takes account of expert advice that the base building works are unlikely to be complete before December 2019.

In addition, Precinct has decided to provide additional time for completion of retail fit-out works after these base building works have been completed, the company said.