May, 2022After three years of planning, and more than two years of construction,
Queenstowns redeveloped OConnells is targeting an October 1
Skyline Enterprises property manager Alastair Clifford says since work
started on the Camp
Street-facing building in February, 2020, its been dragged into the 22nd
The end result marks a maturing of the resort.
Skylines leased two retail floors of the four-level building to global
retail traveller DFS Group, which will soon begin its Resort Galleria
fitout, while the top floor will house offices for DFS and Skyline.
The base build for the lower-level food hall, dubbed Eatspace, is on
track for completion at the end of next month, after which the eight
tenants yet to be confirmed will move in and finish off their
Clifford says interest in the tenancies has been high, despite some
The pandemics impacted Skyline going out to market, and potential
tenants ability to expand, he says, though they are in talks with several
leading food and dining operators and brands.
Hes expecting therell be a combination of established local operators,
setting up offshoots of existing full-service restaurants, and some new
entrants to the Queenstown market in Eatspace, which will provide
small bites and tapas-style offerings, rather than full menus.
Six of the 18 square metre tenancies are dotted around a central bar,
while Clifford says the vision for the final tenancy, a bunker-like space,
is for something completely different & funky and radical.
Total dining capacity is about 230, with tables and chairs, booths, bar
leaners, and seating around individual tenancies.
Where old meets new: Elements of the old OConnells have been
incorporated into the new-look building
Clifford says Skyline will continue to deliver on legendary local hospo
pioneers Iris and Jim
OConnells motto, youre always welcome at OConnells.
We want everyone to come here we want it to be the central point
It also marks a maturing of Queenstowns overall offering.
The grotty bathrooms of old have undergone a total transformation, and
now include translucent, illuminated central vanities, with a purpose-
built wheelchair lift providing access to them.
RGB strip lights, which change colour, feature lights, internal wall
treatments, and a glass ceiling are all new, along with a glass elevator
and a new entrance off Cow Lane, while elements of the former
OConnells, like internal concrete columns, have been worked into
the Preston Stevens-redesigned space.
Its growing up, Clifford says.
Theres colour, theres a lot more modern things in here & it has a bit
[Its] all coming together really well, and will be a major boost and
much-needed revitalisation of downtown Queenstown, in time for the
return of international visitors.
While the building itself has been delayed it was initially pegged for
completion around September last year, with DFS to have opened up
next month Clifford says that was more about getting it right than
because of Covid.
And, remarkably, he says the projects still on budget.
Source: Mountain Scene
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