A striking hotel, planned for Queenstown’s Frankton Road, is back on the drawing board.
FRJ Developments Ltd — whose sole director’s local architect Fred van Brandenburg — has owned the 5499 square metre site, between Frankton Rd and Lake Whakatipu, opposite Goldfield Heights, since about 2016.
At the time he bought it, the land had consent for 99 visitor accommodation apartments.
Then, in August 2018, van Brandenburg’s development company got the nod to build the 131-room ‘Crest’ hotel — that consent came with a five-year lapse date, and Covid stymied progress.
‘‘We were, essentially, a victim of Covid, like a lot of other projects,’’ he says.
‘‘It was on the slow burn while we were doing our project in China [the new headquarters of Marisfrolg, one of China’s leading high-end fashion labels], and we accelerated that when Covid prevented us from travelling to China, so we focused far more on this project.
‘‘But then again Covid prevented that from going as fast as we’d like.’’
With the brakes applied, the Crest consent lapsed before any of the physical work could start.
Van Brandenburg’s just had that consent renewed — this time with a 10-year lapse, ‘‘we were appreciative of that, because it’s a biggie’’ — and he’s now talking to potential interested parties, noting his company will ‘‘probably be a developer in partnership’’.
The 12-storey hotel, comprising one-bedroom units, will be most striking when viewed from Frankton Track or Lake Whakatipu, and create a ‘‘significant architectural presence’’, documentation notes, utilising large sculptural curved forms throughout, along with ‘‘hook-shaped’’ balcony elements on each level.
From Frankton Rd, the only element visible will be the porte cochere, which will enable views through the roofline ‘‘shells’’.
Van Brandenburg says the building will be ‘‘draped’’ in greenery, including some on roof cavities.
‘‘[It will be] almost a forest of greenery, really — some of the greenery will be edible produce … like a market garden in the air.’’
And another one’s in the works, too
There are also plans afoot for a five-star hotel adjoining the billion-dollar Lakeview development.
Singaporean-based Well Smart Investment Holding (THOM) Pty Ltd’s designing the proposed hotel in conjunction with Park Hyatt, which is expected to operate it.
The company was given consent in 2019 for a 130-room, seven-storey, five-star hotel fronting Thompson Street, right beside the Lakeview development.
It’s since bought a property each on Thompson St and Glasgow St and now wants to extend the hotel into those two sites.
It now plans a 120-room hotel, with a building footprint of about 4311 square metres, comprising a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, meeting rooms, a gym, indoor pool, bar and restaurant, while a separate five-storey complex, would comprise 23 serviced apartments, a mix of studios, one-bedders and penthouses.