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September, 2017

An application for a 131-room hotel standing guard over the entrance to
downtown Queenstown has been lodged with the council this week.
The design of the five-level hotel, on the Frankton Road/Stanley Street
corner, has been swayed by a huge, historic wellingtonia tree, which is
protected under the district plan.
We have design solutions which will see that tree there for another
125-plus years, developer Rob Neil says.
His Auckland-based Safari Group is suspending the ground floor so the
root mass can be protected.
Neil denies the tree, reportedly planted at the top of Stanley St in 1891,
is an obstacle. The trees the golden goose on the site.
The main pedestrian-only access to the four-star hotel will be behind
the tree.
Safari Group, which bought the 2197 square metre site for $6 million,
opened Ramada Hotel, near the airport, last year, and is building the
Wyndham Garden hotel/residential apartment com-plex nearby.
Neil says the development value of his latest project will be $62m.
Hes deliberately asking for the resource consent application to be
publicly notified.
He explains that under the current district plan, the sites height limit is
only eight metres, but under the proposed plan its 15m  and his hotels
only two metres higher.
We could hold back and not submit our resource consent till next year,
once the new plan becomes active, but the problem is youll be another
year down the track before we get a hotel.
And thats in a resort facing a shortage of visitor accommodation.
Neil says Auckland architects Studio 37 went through about 14 designs
to come up with one befitting the sites gateway location, while also
satisfying the councils urban design panel.
We believe it tells a story and complements the location.
I think its a spectacular design, Im very proud of it.
The lower two levels comprise schist stone, the two above are zinc-clad
and the top floor is slightly recessed.
Facilities include a ground-floor restaurant/cafe, two small conference
rooms and a gym.
Fulfilling planning requirements, therell be two coach parks and 44
carparks which will mostly be underground.
Neil says about 55 per cent of the units have been pre-sold  ranging
from $280,319 for hotel rooms to $621,803 for two-bedroom
I would say in the next month or so well be starting to promote it
pretty heavily.
Two top-floor residential penthouses will be offered for almost $3m
Neil hopes his consent will be signed off by Christmas and that
construction can start next April/May once his building crew have
completed Wyndham Garden.
With a 14-month build, the hotel should open about June 2019.
The prominent site was formerly occupied by Laurel Bank House, which
opened as a guesthouse in 1891.
Dilapidated in her latter years, she was trucked off in 2007 and restored
to her former glory at Lower Shotover by local couple Sheena Haywood
and Stephen Brent.

Source: Mountain Scene


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