Massive downtown ‘next century landmark’ apartment tower planned

Posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2009 at 3:15 pm in
It’s only scheduled for a 2011 completion, but the $450 mil Elliot Tower is destined to accommodate some of the 2011 Rugby World Cup hordes. That’s if it can maintain a tight schedule against the competing rugby stadium construction effort.

The giant 67 storey complex will be home to more than 800 people in 259 apartments, with minimum sizes of 64 sq m. Two top floor penthouses will be have floor areas of 445 and 590 sq m for those who would be ‘king and queen of Auckland’. These top floors will reach to just under the neighbouring 328m Sky Tower’s observation decks.

That will put it at almost a third higher than Auckland’s next-highest building, the 167m Vero Centre in Shortland Street, down towards the foreshore. Comparisons are everything in this game:

- Sky Tower 328m
- Elliott Tower 232m, 67 storeys
- Vero Centre 167m, 38 storeys
- Metropolis Apartments 155m, 39 storeys
- ANZ Centre 143m, 42 storeys

nd it has one of New Zealand’s leading architects, Gordon Moller, who has already dubbed it a ‘next century landmark’ as the guiding creative genius.

A unique feature of the building is that it will be narrow, with most of its facade facing east and west, rather than the traditional sea-facing buildings of the CDB.

And there was an unexpectedly warm welcome from the grand old lady of Queen Street, Smith and Caughey.

Its md, Andrew Caughey, told the New Zealand Herald that he thought the new building was “fantastic”. “We would absolutely welcome it,” he said. “It’s a tremendous site that has been just a hole in the ground for too long.”

Mercifully, the development which has served as a car park for many years will include six floors of basement car parking. A three-level retail podium catering to the tastes of its well-heeled inmates and the high pedestrian traffic passing on Lower Elliott Street, Victoria and Albert Streets.

Architect and developer — Korean construction group Dae Ju Housing Company — have already concluded extensive discussions with Auckland’s Urban Design Panel and claim to have included their recommendations, making them optimistic of getting the go-ahead. Remember too that Moller is co-convener of the Auckland City Council’s urban design panel which assesses the suitability of major building plans.

They plan to get construction under way as quickly as possible to meet the 2011 deadline and alleviate some of the anticipated major accommodation shortage for the Rugby World Cup. Critics of the plan say it is hiding behind that event and is “too soon” for the CBD.

This article was made possible for the NZ Property Monitor by Timothy Terence Manning