Hotel fever


A $50 million-plus hotel on a prime downtown site is the next project for booming Queenstown.

Leading local developers John Martin, John Darby and Michael Davies want to build the hotel on top of the four-level Man Street carpark they own.

The trio, as Man Street Properties Ltd, lodged a resource consent application for the 205-room complex with the district council last week.

It’s one of at least a dozen major hotels by various developers planned for the runaway resort, firmly in the grip of an unprecedented tourism explosion.

If approval’s granted this year, the hotel is slated to open by mid-2020.

Development manager Jay Cameron says: “It’s an elegant, classical design that we believe will stand the test of time.”

He says a hotel operator’s not been chosen, “but we are in discussions with a party”.

Cameron ticks off the advantages of the 4000sqm site, which overlooks the CBD.

He notes it will front on to the council’s proposed Man St traffic bypass, while sharing the carpark’s pedestrian access down to Shotover St.

“Therefore it won’t impact on the downtown parking and traffic issue.”

Cameron adds that there’s only limited capacity for any other downtown hotel.

Uniquely, the hotel will come with a ready-made carpark, although the developers, in their application, say they’re prepared to set aside 60 of the 515 spaces for guest parking.

Construction time will be saved, too, as the hotel’s concrete foundation’s already in place – according to the application, it should only take 14 to 16 months to build.

The design, by the Christchurch office of Australasian firm Plus Architecture, provides three view corridors through the site to not only retain spectacular lake and mountain views but also break up the size of the hotel.

To reflect the upward slope of Man St, adjacent to the site, the hotel varies between three and four floors.

The base features custom-made charcoal brick, while the body of the building will be clad in cream-coloured ceramic tiles. A 250- to 300-capacity restaurant/bar, for both guests and the public, is planned for the ground floor.

A steel structure covered in vines is proposed over the top of the carpark’s current vehicle entrance.

Cameron notes the developers are excited to be planning for a hotel, which they consider “a perfect use for the site”.

“Ever since we completed the construction of the carpark on that site more than 10 years ago, the owners have considered a number of uses for this prime site.”

One of those was a $25m to $30m arts and conference centre, for which architectural plans were drawn up in 2009.