$700m SkyCity project to boost economy - Govt

  • 27/10/2015
Architects and designers of the building say it will reflect its New Zealand context (Supplied)
Architects and designers of the building say it will reflect its New Zealand context (Supplied)

SkyCity's $700 million international convention centre and hotel project will be a huge boost for Auckland and the economy, the Government says.

It was announced today that Fletcher's construction unit had won the $477m building contract and work was expected to be under way by Christmas.

SkyCity estimates the total cost will be $700m.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says the project will create 2140 new jobs - 1000 during construction and about 1140 in the convention centre, hotel, new retail outlets and additional casino gaming areas.

That's 340 more jobs than was originally estimated.

Mr Joyce says the convention centre will increase tourism spending in Auckland by about $90 million a year through an estimated 33,000 more delegates.

"We will be able to compete effectively to attract high-value business visitors from across the Asia-Pacific region, and all of New Zealand will benefit," he said.

As part of today's announcement, SkyCity has agreed to invest an additional $69 million in the centre over and above its contract commitment.

It will also build the new hotel, laneway and extra carparks at the same time, taking the total building project to $700m.

The announcement also marks an extension of the relationship between SkyCity and Fletcher, which developed the original SkyCity site, Sky Tower and Grand Hotel.

The two companies have entered a binding commitment and expect to sign building work contracts in November.

SkyCity agreed to build and pay for the convention centre in exchange for gaming concessions and a licence extension granted by the government and passed by parliament.

It later decided to build a new hotel as well.

Under the deal SkyCity's increased gaming concessions become effective once the building works contract for the convention centre is signed.

It gets 230 new electronic gaming machines, 240 new automated table games and 40 new tables. It will also be able to expand its gaming to include the Federal Street footprint, including the Grand Hotel and convention centre, and gets a gaming venue licence extension to 2048 from 2021.

The deal:

The project: