Christchurch will get its first new high-rise hotel since the earthquakes at a cost of up to $30 million.

InterContinental Hotels Group will open a 14-storey, 120-room hotel in Gloucester St next to the Cathedral Junction precinct.

The hotel will be the first in New Zealand run under the group’s mid-priced Holiday Inn Express brand.

It will be built and owned by New Zealand hotel company USAR Christchurch Ltd, which is owned by New Zealand hoteliers Sarin Group. It is scheduled to open in 2018.

The hotel is the first announced for Christchurch since the Government released news it was starting work on the city’s new Convention Centre in the next block.

InterContinental, a British-based hotel group, will also open a Crowne Plaza hotel next year in the former Forsyth Barr office tower opposite Victoria Square.

The Holiday Inn Express will be built on the site of the old Press print house, between Press House and the Rendezvous Hotel.

Sarin Group and InterContinental are understood to have advanced plans for the project for some time, but wanted certainty about the Convention Centre before going ahead.

The design was part of a three-building plan, of which only Press House has been built, approved for previous owners of the land before the 2010-11 earthquakes.

The hotel will take under two years to build at a cost understood to be between $25 million and $30m.

Karin Sheppard, chief executive of InterContinental for Australasia and Japan, said there was high demand for Christchurch hotel rooms because of New Zealand’s thriving economy.

Raman Sarin,of the Sarin Group, said that with international tourism numbers on the rise, it was important to sign an established global brand to run the new hotel.

He said hotel  facilities would include “grab and go” breakfasts and a pillow menu.

InterContinental and Sarin Group are opening a hotel in Queenstown by rebranding the newly-refurbished Goldridge Resort.