Global hotel owner and operator Minor Hotels is set to debut its contemporary AVANI brand in New Zealand following the sale of Auckland’s landmark 40-storey CBD Metropolis tower Management Rights along with a parcel of units. Oaks Hotels & Resorts NZ, a division of Bangkok-based MH, has paid NZ$11 million for the Metropolis management rights and 19 apartments in a deal negotiated by Resort Brokers New Zealand. The sale was recently confirmed and settled early May following the granting of Overseas Investment Office approval earlier this year. It signals an exciting expansion in the Pacific by MH with a significant acquisition in the iconic Auckland building, located in the hub of the city’s food and fashion precinct.

The management rights and tranche of apartments were sold by a private individual investor who also leased a further 19 apartments to the hotel group.   Since the sale Minor Hotels have received enthusiastic support from a number of other owners who have elected to include their apartments in the hotel pool, spurred by a belief that the complex will return to its former glory as a high quality hotel with more vibrancy and professional image than recent years. If this is the case, owners might look towards capital value growth due to the renewed prestige.

Metropolis, located in Courthouse Lane, within easy walking distance of Auckland Harbour waterfront, Albert Park, Auckland Art Gallery, and main CBD retail strip, has approximately 400 apartments, over 60 of which are currently in the hotel letting pool. The entry of this first class international hotel operator will be a major boon for investor apartment owners, so Minor expect to quickly expand its room inventory with additional units currently in the hands of outside agents or managed by owners direct.

Resort Brokers NZ said the Metropolis asset was the most valuable management rights parcel ever sold in New Zealand, a deal which took around a year to put together. The Metropolis tower will receive significant investment to upgrade all units under its management to the required AVANI 4.5 to 5-star standard and establish quality reception and guest services. The tower already boasts a 22-metre indoor heated swimming pool, spa, sauna and gymnasium.