NZX-listed landlord Kiwi Property has increased the height of its second Sylvia Park tower from 15 to 17 levels and is talking to a hotel business about operating accommodation on the top levels.
Greg Tolley, Kiwi development manager for the project, said a 70m or 17-level block was now planned to be built in what is now ground-level parking across the internal Sylvia Park road from the nine-level ANZ Raranga, the first stand-alone tower at the site.
"Three thousand people will work in the two buildings and the key for us is the railway station," Tolley said, telling how only 30 per cent of tenants in the first block use cars to get to work.
A Kiwi spokesman said the extra height "comes down to us now having greater clarity of the building's design and configuration".
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Tolley said demand for more commercial space and surveys showing the need for more guest beds in the area prompted Kiwi to commission Australia's Woods Baggot and Auckland's Peddle Thorp to design the new building.
Accommodation for 1800 office workers, a 140-room hotel, ground-level office and hotel reception areas and shops are planned for the new block but a construction contract is yet to be let.
Naylor Love is head contractor on Kiwi's $258 million Galleria, now nearing completion, and the 900-space carpark alongside, which is already operating.
"This will be an iconic marker for Sylvia Park, right from the Tip Top Corner," Tolley predicted of the building's dominance on the landscape.
A Kiwi spokesman said the new block would be five floors of the hotel, nine of office, a service level with plant and hotel back of house areas, and two floors made up of retail, dining and the double-height hotel and office lobby.
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Nine levels of the new building will be commercial, five hotel and the rest shops, reception and plant room.
Meanwhile, Kiwi has nearly finished 60 new shops at New Zealand's largest mall, ready for openings starting from August in the $258 million expansion.
Peter Tuck, development manager of the new 17,000sq m upper-level Galleria at Sylvia Park, showed off progress at the first media tour of the project.
"This will open in stages from August," he said from the site where Naylor Love is the head contractor.
Two new escalators have been installed to take shoppers from the ground to the first floor. An existing escalator was moved and re-orientated towards the new as-yet-unannounced anchor tenant to the north of the Galleria.
The existing single-level mall structure has been strengthened to take the weight of the new structure on what was its roof where cars once parked.
All services are installed, new internal shop walls are up and plastered but not yet painted. Natural stone tiles will soon be laid over the concrete floor and ceilings will soon be installed as part of the tenants' fit-out, said Tuck, who previously worked at Stride Property on its NorthWest Shopping Centre at Westgate.
Galleria shop fronts are 5.6m high and the whole structure has a grand 7.5m internal stud height.
The highlight of the new area, still shut to the public, is natural light from four banks of double-glazed ceiling windows running the length of the Galleria on the east and west flanks of the roof.
"We learned a lot from Chadstone," Tuck said, referring to one of Australia's most successful shopping centres in Melbourne. Many designer brands chose that mall to make their entree into Australia and a number of new-to-New Zealand tenants are due to be announced at the Galleria when leasing deals are revealed.
Tuck said Kiwi looked to Chadstone on natural light, layout and expansion plans when designing the Galleria.
"A lot of thought went into glazing. Retailers want their shop fronts to be prominent without too much natural light."
Shops line both sides of the Galleria, which has an atrium in the centre.
The new area gives Kiwi the chance to lease space to many new international brands but it won't be announcing that. Is new tenants are more likely to herald their own arrival.
Sylvia Park remains New Zealand's only shopping centre with a Zara and Tuck expressed satisfaction with development and leasing achievements at the Galleria.
"The shops are almost ready to be handed over," he said.
Kiwi said last year it expected the Galleria to be ready by around the middle of this year.
Farmers has leased a two-level area, anchoring the Southern Motorway end but just who has leased the city end, Tuck won't say. Four tenants will have two-level premises.
Kiwi chief executive Clive Mackenzie said last year discussions were being held with a range of tenants for the expanded mall.
Sephora has been tipped and Kiwi changed the Galleria's design due to demand from major retailers.
The expansion was originally due to cost $223m but Kiwi pushed that up to $258m to allow the extra space and 900 new car parks in the addition facing the railway line.
A new dining precinct, The Terrace, is designed to seat 450 people.
"This will sit between The Grove and the [existing Sylvia Park] food hall," Tuck said of the price, range and style of food and beverage operations planned for that indoor area.
Floor-to-ceiling windows look from The Terrace across to Mutukaora/Hamlins Hill.
Kiwi has already finished and opened the new 900-space carpark to bring around 5000 car parks to its entire site - the largest number at any mall in New Zealand.