The announcement of a new estimated $250 million landmark hotel project in central Auckland is a major boost for the regional economy, and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) congratulates Ninety Four Feet on its memorable milestone.
Due for completion in 2021, Ninety Four Feet’s 41-storey, 225-room ‘upper-upscale’ hotel and luxury apartments in the central city will be one of the city’s tallest buildings, and mark the New Zealand debut of international hotel operator IHG’s boutique Hotel Indigo brand.
Through ATEED’s partnership in NZTE’s Hotel Investment Attraction Project – which began in 2016 to help solve the country’s shortage of hotels in key tourism regions – its investment attraction team played a big part in securing this major foreign direct investment for Auckland.
Pam Ford, General Manager Economic Development, says ATEED’s investment specialists worked closely with Ninety Four Feet – an Australasian property development, investment and construction company – for more than a year to help it understand Auckland’s visitor economy, navigate the nuances and cost structure of the Auckland commercial property market, and gain the assurance it needed to proceed.
“We used our investment expertise, unique knowledge of the local construction environment’s nuances and cost structure, and comprehensive visitor economy data to help Ninety Four Feet’s senior team put together their business case.
“We also added a lot of value by helping the company find the right central city site, which is crucial for a premium hotel. Ninety Four Feet needed to understand Auckland’s resource consent processes, and being part of the Council group meant we could help that process too,” says Pam Ford.
Hotel Indigo Auckland joins other key hotel projects announced in recent years, including the Park Hyatt on the Viaduct Harbour, being developed by Fu Wah; Accor’s new Sofitel SO in Custom St East; and Marriott International’s Four Points by Sheraton – a 255-room, 20-level hotel on Queen St.
Dean Rzechta, Managing Director at Ninety Four Feet, says Auckland’s vibrancy, booming visitor economy and projected demand for premium hotel rooms makes the city a prime location.
“An investment decision of this magnitude is not taken lightly, and at the start of the journey there were several options for our first investment in Auckland. The personal expert attention provided by ATEED’s investment team left us in no doubt we’d found the right home.
“During our time spent in Auckland getting the project to this point, we’ve been really impressed with the lifestyle, and the rich food and culture scene. With resource consent now in hand, we look forward to beginning construction of the tower while retaining the original heritage building.
“Hotel Indigo will include truly world-class restaurant offerings designed by our New York-based F&B partners, and seamlessly integrate into St Patrick’s Square, activating this important inner-city space. We are working towards opening to coincide with the world spotlight falling on Auckland with APEC and the America’s Cup in 2021.”
By 2025, Auckland is projected to welcome more than 4 million visitors a year (58 per cent more than now), creating an estimated $13.9 billion visitor economy (up 85 per cent).
With the project announced, ATEED will now continue to help Ninety Four Feet as the hotel proceeds towards construction and completion.