New Air New Zealand boss Greg Foran scaled the heights of America's corporate ladder to take charge of retail giant Walmart and now he appears to be returning to a lofty perch in Auckland.

The Herald on Sunday understands Foran and wife Ondrea plan to look down on the city from a luxury, multi-million dollar apartment high in central Auckland.

Four adjacent apartments valued at about $9 million are having their walls knocked down to create one expansive unit stretching 515sq m, say residents.

Two storeys below the penthouse level, the apartment boasts one of Auckland's best views and is expected to be completed by June.


Kiwi-born Foran, 58, last week stepped into the hot seat as Air NZ chief executive after five years in charge of US company Walmart, the world's largest retailer.

His reputation as one of New Zealand's most successful businessmen would only add lustre to the swanky complex, one resident said.

"Most residents are quite pleased," the man said.

"You've got to put up with a bit of noise and dust for a while and tradies traipsing up and down in the lifts.

"But you can see long term, it is actually enhancing the apartments because they are becoming known as one of the places to live.

one roof

"We are so elevated up on the ridge there's very few buildings that are actually higher up than us even though other buildings are taller.

"We look down on the city with an absolutely perfect view."

He said all the residents had money, but especially those on the upper floors with the "mega" north-facing views.


Another resident, who rents on the floor above, said it would be "a lovely apartment".

"It's huge. They have basically gutted it because, why spend a few million and then not do it properly," said the resident, who did not want to be named.

"We will just have to live with [the disruption] but the workers have been courteous, telling us when they have to turn the water off and asking what is the most suitable time."

Foran stepped down as Walmart boss last October in what analysts described as a blow to the giant retailer, according to Bloomberg.

Buying an apartment is a good way to get your foot on the property ladder but with so many on offer how do you know what will increase in value over time?

He was largely responsible for getting Walmart's core business back in shape by making its 4700 stores cleaner and easier to shop in.

However, he made the decision to come home after being head hunted for the job at Air NZ, a company 53 per cent owned by the Government.

After his Walmart exit, Foran will receive payouts totalling $7.5m through to January 2022 and has been estimated to be worth more than $70m by some US media sites.

With the apartments being ripped up to make way for the luxury pad, there are leftover kitchens and these were being given away to other apartment owners, the fellow resident said.

One apartment owner who does a lot of charity work had been giving parts from the brand new kitchens to South Auckland families, while others were giving them to friends and family, he said.

Auckland's most expensive apartment is believed to be the new two-level "super penthouse" in the under-construction 57-storey Pacifica high rise, which has an asking price of $35m.

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That city centre penthouse will be five times the size of an average New Zealand home at about 1272sq m, Gavin Lloyd from commercial real estate group CBRE said.