September, 2017A Queenstown building that has been constructed with its upside down,
now has its upside up.
It took six cranes several hours to lift the 76-tonne roof of a new
commercial building in Frankton into place this month.
A small crowd gathered in sleet and cold conditions to watch the lift
including developers Gerry Oudhoff and James Hennessy and the owner
of the building, Hong Kong-based Julian Snelder.
Oudhoff said the 1740sq m roof was built on the ground by Tuatara
As it was lifted corner legs would slide into place under the mono-pitch
roof. They would hang at first before being lowered and bolted in.
It took most of the day to complete the work.
Oudhoff said it was not a cheaper way of building but it was slightly
faster and much safer.
"There's nobody hanging up on scaffolding all day and less chance of
people getting hurt. Less strops and harnesses and all that sort of stuff
to deal with."
There were several recreational tenancies confirmed for the building
including a cafe, climbing business, dancing and music - in keeping with
the Remarkables Park neighbours including Game On and Site
Snelder, who only took over ownership a day earlier, was delighted to
watch the progress.
"I've always loved Queenstown, having grown up here, but last year my
wife gave me the resolve and the courage to go ahead and do a large
scale commercial property investment.
"I think it's going to be a great location. We've got great tenants. I think
this part of Queenstown and Wakatipu with the airport, and the
potential development of the airport, will be increasingly a strategic
Snelder, whose parents established and operated the Routeburn Track
Walk in the 1960s, lives in Hong Kong where he has worked as a
engineer, consultant, banker and investor.
He had been returning to Queenstown for years and was keen to spend
more in New Zealand.
"I love it here and this is a great excuse to come home," he said.
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