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Hamilton’s central city will soon be home to a $120 million high-end hotel development across three prime riverside properties.

Hamilton City Council has signed a conditional agreement to sell properties at 242-254 Victoria Street to one of New Zealand’s largest and most prominent developers, Templeton Group.

Templeton will now proceed with planning and design for the minimum 10-storey, mixed-use building.  Aspirations for the site include a world-class food and entertainment precinct on the ground level opening to the riverfront area, with a chic new hotel, office space, and residential apartments above.

Mayor Paula Southgate and Chair of the Economic Development Committee Councillor, Ewan Wilson, have been longstanding campaigners for a second four-star hotel in the city.

“We need this,” said Mayor Southgate.

“It’s been a top priority for me since taking on this role and we couldn’t be prouder to partner with Templeton, who support our vision of connecting the central city with the river, with their reputation for creating vibrant places where people love to be.”

Council’s vision for the Victoria on the River (VOTR) area started back in 2009, with hopes to attract a development of this calibre. In 2018, the four strategic property purchases of 242-266 Victoria Street were made using $6.49 million from an allocated fund.

Council will retain ownership of the land and building at 260-266 Victoria Street, which will be developed into public space extending the footprint of VOTR.


01_HCC_Councillor Wilson_Mayor Southgate_Templeton Group Development Director, Ben Jones_4Mar2024Image left to right: Councillor Ewan Wilson, Mayor Paula Southgate, Templeton Group Development Director, Ben Jones.

“This development will continue the work already done through previous projects in the nearby VOTR and the exceptional work of Stark Property,” said Mayor Southgate.

Templeton have a long track record of creating hotel and apartment developments that become vibrant destinations. With a range of multi-billion-dollar developments across New Zealand underway, this is Templeton’s first project in the Waikato region. The proposed development in Hamilton is estimated between $110 to $120 million across 2000m2 of land.

“There were several factors at play when we set our sights on the properties nestled along the river,” said Templeton Group founder Nigel McKenna.

“Hamilton Kirikiriroa has experienced robust economic and population growth in recent years. The revitalisation of the central city and riverfront has begun to transform the city and we’re excited to contribute to that.

“Opening up this site to the mighty Waikato River will give Hamiltonians and visitors the opportunity to enjoy stunning views with an outstanding food and beverage precinct and hotel.

“We know Hamilton and the wider Waikato has been experiencing a resurgence in visitor numbers. Investing in a high-quality hotel will continue to attract tourists and business travellers to the city, boosting the local tourism industry and supporting related businesses.”

Along with the boost for the economy, Councillor Wilson is also excited about how the apartments will help rejuvenate the central city.

“This is a huge economic driver, it’s exactly what we wanted and what we’ve been talking about for decades” said Councillor Wilson.

“This is transformational for Hamilton’s central city, it gives effect to our long-term planning and Mayor Southgate’s economic development strategy of attracting another hotel because it is complementary to the existing Claudelands, Seddon Park, and FMG Stadium Waikato where we know there is demand for additional hotel-night stays.”

The agreement follows a comprehensive tender process which began in 2021 and received five proposals from developers across the country. Templeton have one year to complete all matters required by Council to make the agreement unconditional. Following this, it is anticipated the development will take a number of years to complete.

Council and Templeton are working closely with current tenants located at the properties.

More about Templeton Group 

Nigel McKenna, Templeton Group Founder 1Image: Nigel McKenna, Templeton Group Founder

Templeton have a long-track record of creating hotel developments that become vibrant destinations. Most notable, the Auckland Viaduct that opened the waterfront with The Sebel Hotel, The Quays apartments, and the hospitality precinct where the likes of Oyster & Chop and Soul Bar continue their popularity since their beginnings in 2000.

A recent development is Abstract, an elegant new hotel and residences in Auckland city complete with restaurant and spa.

With an extraordinary collection of apartments, townhouses to hotel rooms around New Zealand, Templeton Group is one of New Zealand's largest developers. The work it does is underpinned by tenets of design, enhanced aesthetic and community. Their aim is to create vibrant and aspirational places where people want to be.


Recent development by Templeton, Abstract on Upper Queen Street


Abstract Hotel Terrace Bar (1)

Abstract Hotel lobby_final (1)

Images show a recent development by Templeton, Abstract on Upper Queen Street.

More about Hamilton’s central city  

Long-Term Plan priority: We are shaping a central city where people love to be | Ahuahungia te pokapuu o teetehi taaone e arohaina ai e te taangata  

  • We're expecting around 4000 homes for up to 10,800 people in the central city and surrounds by 2035. 
  • Hamilton Kirikiriroa is one of the fastest growing urban areas in the country, and we want to increase the number of people living and working in the central city and provide great places and services (close by) to support them. 
  • The central city is the economic heart of the Waikato. 
  • As well as providing a place for commercial, cultural and economic growth, the central city is also a place that thousands of people will one day call home. 
  • Council is investing in the central city by prioritising strategic infrastructure, opening it up to the Waikato River, encouraging people to live and work here and making it easy to access and move around in. 
  • Council is working collaboratively with developers, partners and other government agencies to ensure the central city is a vibrant and prosperous metro core that all Hamiltonians will benefit from. 

Quick Facts  

  • The central city contributed an estimated $3.2 billion (25%) to Hamilton's GDP for the year to March 2023. 
  • Nearly 22,000 people are employed the central city.  
  • The current population in the central city and surrounds is around 12,000 people. This is around 2000 in the central city and 10,000 in the surrounding area.  
  • The median age in the central city is 32 years.  
  • Open spaces make up 10% of the central city.  
  • 1.6% of indigenous vegetation remains in the central city. 


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