The first stage of demolition has begun to make way for a hotel development in Manuka, at the site of the Capitol Theatre.
The first stage of a plan to build a five-storey hotel complex got under way on Friday with the demolition of the old post office building behind the main cinema building.
John Liangis of Liangis Developments Pty Ltd, said it had been a labourious process hindered by coronavirus, but finally things had started to move.
He said the next stage would be building a basement and ground level.
Mr Liangis said the project's staging was designed so a substation in the old Capitol Cinemas building could be relocated safely.
Capitol Theatre announced earlier this month it would be closing permanently. However, the development includes plans for a cinema complex.
Mr Liangis expected the entire project to take two years from the demolition of the Capitol Theatre building, but said due to the pandemic he was unsure when that would be.
The development is long-awaited by several traders in the Manuka Shopping Precinct, who hope it will bring new life to the area.
However, the plan has been at the centre of controversy, after a stoush over a London plane tree went on for several years. Community groups opposed the removal of the tree but it was given the green light to be chopped down last July.