Auckland's waterfront agency has launched New Zealand's biggest single urban redevelopment, seeking more than $1.3 billion over the next decade.
The council-owned agency is chasing developers to build offices and a five-star hotel and up to 1000 apartments, but is facing criticism over a lack of affordable housing.
The almost three-hectare development sits behind the strip of bars, restaurants and public space at the popular Wynyard Quarter.
Land will be leased to developers, and the agency says there will be controls to ensure top-quality urban design.
Auckland mayor Len Brown has rejected criticism from some councillors that apartment prices will start at $500,000.
Mr Brown said the council is working on affordable housing in other parts of the city, and some may still be possible on the waterfront.
It will be months before the initial proposals from private sector developers are known, he said.
Waterfront Development Agency chief executive said the process for choosing developers would take place over the next six months.