A deal in which millions of dollars will be put into a new events centre and hotel development in Lower Hutt will be fantastic for the city, Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace says.
The development is being undertaken by USAR Commercial Assets, the owners of which have also managed the National Event Centre in Canberra, the Ashok in New Delhi and the VR Rotorua Lake Resort.
The council spent $3.5 million buying and preparing the prime High Street site that it will sell to USAR for the hotel.
The council will put a further $20.3m into the development of the events centre, but will retain ownership of it and lease it to USAR to operate.
The deal would not have happened if the council had not helped to facilitate it by making sure that a company like USAR wanted to invest, Mr Wallace said.
"This organisation is going to be investing millions of dollars in the Hutt; Council's had to play its part in making that happen," he said.
"We are getting fair value back for the land. We're getting a professional operator for our events centre that won't be able to be matched."
The cost and location of the centre and hotel would attract people - and the council was already receiving enquiries about the facility and it had not even been built, Mr Wallace said.
The development is expected to be open by early 2017 and generate up to 90 associated jobs a year, and return between $55 and $75 million over the next 20 years.