NDG Auckland Centre

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The future site of the Elliot Tower (upper right hand) seen from the Sky Tower (Auckland).

The NDG Auckland Centre is an upcoming tower block consisting of a Ritz-Carlton hotel skyscraper in Auckland, New Zealand. Upon completion it will be the tallest building in New Zealand and the second-tallest freestanding structure (after the Sky Tower) in Auckland, with its height originally proposed at 232 m (761 ft) being 55 m higher than the next competitor, the Vero Centre. It is now proposed at 209 m (687 ft) which will make it the tallest building in the country.[1] The project was first announced by the Dae Ju Group as the Elliott Tower, however general economic trends halted further progress as of April 2009,[2] and in mid-2012 the site was sold to Chinese hotel developer, Furu Ding [3] who confirmed in early 2014 that the development would proceed as the NDG Auckland Centre.[4]

Project history[edit]

The site was originally occupied by the Royal International Hotel,[5] before it was bulldozed by Chase Corporation in 1987 for a high-rise development that never proceeded.[4] After a succession of owners, the Korean-based Dae Ju Group purchased the site in 2003.[4]

Elliot Tower was granted planning permission in October 2007 (with the subsequent building consents still outstanding), and would be located at the crossroads of Lower Elliot, Victoria and Albert Streets, on an empty lot which is currently being occupied by a car park and a reverse bungy ride.[1] However, a late 2007 Environment Court appeal had to be successfully resolved before the building could go forward. SkyCity Auckland, owners of the nearby Sky Tower, alleged that the building would interfere with the use of communications equipment installed on the tower, as well as lead to future conflicts over privacy within the new apartments which could conceivably be seen into from the tower. Law firm Philips Fox DLA also joined the appeal, claiming the tower went against planning policies.[6] By the end of June 2008, these appeals were dropped after an out-of-court settlement, clearing the way for the Elliot to proceed. Construction was originally scheduled to start in 2009, with an estimated completion date of 2013.[7]

The project was dormant due to the 2008 financial crisis.[5] But in December 2013, the chairman of the Auckland Business Forum Michael Barnett suggested that the construction of the tower would begin in the next two years, along with the construction of the skycity convention centre.[8]

Characteristics[edit]

The tower will principally serve as an apartment complex targeted at the upper market, with two penthouses (445 and 590 square metres)[9] on the top two floors and 57 levels of apartments (all facing both west and east) for a total of about 800 residents. Three levels of retail podium and six levels of basement car parking are also proposed.[1] The design was lauded for being particularly eco-friendly, incorporating solar panels, carbon sink plantings to offset building service emissions, as well as a co-generation plant for energy efficiency. A rainwater-capture system is also proposed, and two sky gardens and a public garden on the retail podium are to be available for residents and customers.[1] The sky gardens have also been mooted as breaking up the facade, providing for visual and wind movement benefits.[10] The proposed Aotea underground railway station adjoins the site.[11]

Construction[edit]

Following final discussions with Auckland's Urban Design Panel and other affected parties, the Elliott Tower was granted resource consent by Auckland City Council in October 2007. Its completion was estimated for 2011, with the equivalent of around 500 full-time workers to have been employed in its construction.[1] The original developers were Dae Ju Group, a Korean construction firm that was also working on plans for other buildings around the Auckland CBD area.[9] The firm estimated a $450 million value upon completion of the tower.[1]

In May 2017, the long awaited tower block proposal which included a Ritz-Carlton hotel was approved by the Overseas Investment Office and is set to be built at a price of $350 million. [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "NZ's second tallest building to reach for the Sky Tower". The New Zealand Herald. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  2. ^ Gibson, Anne (8 April 2009). "67-floor tower falls victim to downturn in apartments". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  3. ^ Anne Gibson (17 July 2012). "Shanghai magnate plans hotel on $53m Auckland site". NZ Herald.
  4. ^ a b c Anne Gibson (12 February 2014). "NZ's tallest skyscraper plan for Auckland". New Zealand Herald.
  5. ^ a b Global woes hammer big projectsThe New Zealand Herald.
  6. ^ SkyCity, law firm fight plan for towerThe New Zealand Herald, Monday 26 November 2006, Page C13
  7. ^ Gibson, Anne (30 June 2008). "Tower clears last legal obstacles". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Accelerated Package of AK Transport Projects – Bring it on!". Scoop News. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  9. ^ a b Massive apartment tower planned National Business Review, 14 November 2006
  10. ^ Gibson, Anne (31 October 2007). "Eco-friendly Elliot Tower to harness power of sun". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  11. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (1 August 2008). "Huge underground rail station in mid-town plan". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  12. ^ Catherine Harris (1 May 2017). "52-level NDG tower and Ritz Carlton hotel gets approval". Stuff NZ.