$6m project for Queenstown’s final frontier


A Queenstown-based tourism and property giant has unveiled plans for a $6-million downtown high-end retail development.
Skyline Enterprises this afternoon confirms it lodged a consent application for a three-storey project on the last piece of undeveloped lakefront land in the resort’s downtown area. 

The new building will sit beside Eichardt’s Private Hotel, on the corner of Marine Parade and Church Street. 

The announcement, two weeks after Mountain Scene first revealed Skyline was close to finalising the application, gives people the first look at the Michael-Wyatt-designed project. 

A cluster of premium retail, office space and accommodation in the building will transform the 781 square metre site, which is a dusty carpark home to a fish and chip shop and rental depot. 

In a past life it was home to a horse stables, servicing accommodation. 

The ground floor retail space of approximately 700sq m has been set aside for high-end retail stores. The first floor will be for either premium office space, or more retail or visitor accommodation – talks between top brass from Skyline and owners of the building’s neighbouring luxury hotel Eichart’s will deterimine that mix. A luxury two-bedroom apartment with extensive balconies is planned for the top floor. 

Skyline Enterprises chief executive Jeff Staniland says the company has already worked alongside the Queenstown Lakes District Council urban design panel to ensure the concept is in line with council’s guidelines and vision for the CBD. 

Staniland says the time is right to proceed with the building. 

“All business indicators are this is a very positive time for investment in a development such as this, on the most high-profile piece of undeveloped land in the CBD. 

“Skyline Enterprises already has over 70 tenants in the CBD and there is currently strong demand as there hasn’t been any new supply come to the market in recent times, making that balance very favourable. 

“Our recovering economy, aligned with current and predicted growth in the Asian markets and coupled with trends in luxury shopping habits is giving us further confidence in the market.” 

It’s too soon to confirm when the building might get underway, Staniland says, as that’s subject to the consent process, but he hopes it’ll be completed in 2015. 

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd says it supports DQ’s strategy of attracting more high-value visitors who stay longer and spend more: “Shopping is a very important part of holiday travel and there is growing demand for more premium retail choices in Queenstown.” 

Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ann Lockhart says the Chamber will be delighted to welcome the new development as a strategic asset to the downtown area. 

“This will be a premier building in one of Queenstown’s most high-profile areas. Queenstown sits in the most magical setting for a resort town, and the CBD is the jewel in that crown. The Chamber’s aim is to continue to grow and re-energise the CBD in a sustainable manner and to a standard and quality you would expect from an international resort.” 

Architect Michael Wyatt said the site was unique in its location and the history of Queenstown. 

“It has never housed a significant permanent structure since the stables for the early Eichardt’s Hotel were removed in the mid-nineteenth century. The construction of a building fit for the site, its immediate built environment and the Queenstown CBD is long overdue.” 

Skyline Enterprises is a diversified company operating predominantly in the leisure and entertainment fields both in New Zealand and overseas with businesses including Skyline Queenstown, Skyline Rotorua, The Helicopter Line, Mitre Peak Cruises, Christchurch Casino and Skyline Luge Sentosa.