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07 Feb 2014

NZ’s Tallest Skycraper

Consent has been granted for New Zealand's tallest skyscraper, with Auckland Centre Tower ready to be built on the corner of Elliot and Victoria Streets. This location is one of Auckland's longest-standing vacant lots, with the 209-metre building set to breathe new life into the city skyline. The 52-storey building will incorporate a range of facilities, including residential apartments, an entertainment complex, and a shopping centre.
Auckland Centre Tower is owned by multimillionaire Shanghai businessman Furu Ding, who will develop the site under the banner of the Shangai-based New Development Group (NDC). After initially purchasing the site to develop a five-star hotel, Ding's vision has expanded to include a range of other ventures. While a 302-room hotel is still a primary focus, restaurants, shopping, and cinema facilities will make the site more widely accessible.

According to a statement released by Auckland Mayor Len Brown, this is a development for everyone. "The new project will incorporate a range of activities including a 302-room hotel and entertainment complex, residential apartments, shopping, restaurants, a cinema and two sky deck areas within the tower
structure... The design will also enhance the urban space and connectivity with a footpath link, internal pedestrian circulation and arcade areas, a plaza to Albert St and a podium garden area."

NDC Auckland Centre was granted resource consent just a few days ago, with Mayor Len Brown also highlighting the benefits of the construction phase. “Alongside the Sky Tower, this will be a world class development for Auckland that will create hundreds of new jobs, energise the CBD and boost Auckland’s
GDP, through a more than $350 million investment by NDG,” said Brown, adding "It’s also an example of the major commercial opportunities created by the City Rail Link project."

The NDC tower is the latest in a long line of projects confirmed for Auckland along the City Rail Link route. "To date the private sector has confirmed more than a billion dollars of new investments along the proposed route, including Precinct Properties’ downtown retail and office development ($300m+) the NZ International Convention Centre ($400m+) and NDG Auckland Centre ($350m+).” said Brown.

While this project will still be dwarfed by the 328-metre Sky Tower, it is much bigger than the Vero Centre at 172 metres and the Metropolis at 155 metres. To the delight of many Aucklanders, the tower will include six levels of much-needed car parking and an eight-level podium retail structure. The design also promises to enhance surrounding areas, with a footpath link and plaza to Albert Street available.