After years of delays a plan to transform the Michael Fowler Centre car park in Wellington's centre city into a multi-level green building could get city council signoff this week.
Mayor Andy Foster said the transformed Te Ngākau Civic Precinct could potentially house a proposed national music centre mooted for the site.
In 2016, Willis Bond won a tender for the project but it was paused after the Kaikōura earthquake in November that year.
"The stunning design incorporates around 15,000sqm of new mixed-use space in the inner city," he said.
"The lower levels with retail or hospitality activities will attract more people and create stronger connections between Te Ngākau Civic Square, lower Cuba Street and our beautiful waterfront," Foster said.
Anchoring the music school there would "place Wellington and Aotearoa New Zealand with the great music centres of the world, on par with New York, Berlin, London and Helsinki", New Zealand Symphony Orchestra chief executive Peter Biggs said.
Wellington City Council will vote on finalising the proposal at a meeting on Thursday.
If it gets the go-ahead, and resource consent, Willis Bond plans to begin work late next year.
The developer would be given a 175-year ground lease on the site.
Council planning committee chair Iona Pannett said the 5-Star Green Star rated building would be built using base isolators for earthquake protection, and raised ground floors to cope with rising sea levels due to climate change.
"Willis Bond plans to landscape this area with much-needed green spaces to make the precinct more welcoming and provide shade. The site will also include several accessible car parks near the Michael Fowler Centre for people to use when attending events," she said.
The car park has been used as a temporary rehearsal space for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and while the St James Theatre strengthening work was under way.
The council is working with the ballet on how and when to dismantle the temporary studio in the car park.