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Luxury to a new level: An artist's impression of Kevin Carlin's six-level, five-star hotel

A developer has started selling million-dollar central Queenstown apartments off the plans.

Kevin Carlin has changed tack on his Queenstown Views project, replacing plans for 130 hotel rooms with 19 ‘two-key’ apartment suites, plus two rooftop penthouses.

That’s brought the project value down from $100 million to $68m.

On the Man Street/Brecon St corner, the five-star complex includes high-end retail and a 42-seat public cinema.

It will occupy just two Man St sections – Carlin backed off buying another two neighbouring sections because the numbers didn’t stack up.

He says the reconfiguration – which needs varied resource consent – is due to a trend towards larger hotel rooms.

“The typical Queenstown room is about 25 to 28 square metres – our smallest is 48sqm with a separate lounge and ensuite bedroom.”

He fears Queenstown will face a glut of lower-quality hotels in the next three to five years.

“I think our rooms will set new standards for quality [in town], accompanied by five-star service.”

He believes the other key is the hotel’s location, allowing elevated “postcard views” while also being on the busy tourist corridor to Skyline’s gondola. He’s very close to signing up a prominent hotel operator.

Generous views: The outlook from Queenstown Views apartment

Queenstown Views is the first development proposed under the local council’s plan change 50, which expanded the town centre over former residential-zoned land.

Carlin is selling the unit-titled apartments for $1.2m to $2.6m.

He’s keeping one ‘sky home’ penthouse for himself and accepting offers more than $5m for the other.

Buyers also get a share of a rooftop owners’ club lounge and observation deck.

Hawkins Construction is confirmed as main contractor. Work should start early next year, with a targeted June 2019 completion.

Now based on Australia’s Gold Coast, the 63-year-old developed Queenstown’s exclusive Lakeside Estates subdivision and The Waterfront Apartments in the 1990s.

scoop@scene.co.nz