An Auckland CBD office tower is to be converted into a 250-room internationally branded hotel. The strategically positioned property on the corner of Queen Street and Mayoral Drive, formerly the location of the popular Queen’s Head Tavern, has been purchased by The Russell Property Group and associated investors for the purpose of conversion.

National director of Hotels of Colliers International, Dean Humphries said the timing is perfect for new hotel accommodation in Auckland.

“The city is running at capacity due to the tourism boom currently sweeping the country and is desperate for more inventory,” said Humphries. “The massive increase in international tourists over the last three years – a 26 percent increase or nearly 700,000 additional visitors per annum has led to a critical shortage of hotel rooms in Auckland and other key tourism destinations around New Zealand.”

A recent report commissioned by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise identified a requirement of up to 4,300 new hotel rooms in Auckland over the next decade.

The Queen Street property incorporates the original historical façade of the famous Queen’s Head Tavern with its distinctive blue glazed tower that represents one of the key landmark buildings of Queen Street’s entertainment precinct. Construction is anticipated to commence in December 2016.