25 Oct 2019

Renewed push for a high quality hotel for Dunedin CBD

2:07 pm on 25 October 2019

The Dunedin City Council is seeking developers' interest to turn an inner-city carpark into a high quality hotel.

Dunedin city and harbour

The proposal for a new high-rise hotel in the Dunedin CBD is being advertised worldwide. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The Moray Place, Filleul Street carpark is one of the few large sections of undeveloped land left in the CBD, measuring about 6480 square metres.

Consent to build a five star, 17-storey hotel on the same site was rejected about two years ago.

In August, the Otago Daily Times reported that Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill has been trying to win support for his hotel and apartment project, since unveiling plans for a 17-storey tower in 2016.

Consent for the project was rejected the following year, and Mr Tosswill subsequently withdrew an Environment Court appeal - in favour of going back to the drawing board - after repeated design changes failed to impress.

Mr Tosswill told the newspaper that he still hoped to get his Dunedin project off the ground, however, a memorandum of understanding between the Dunedin City Council and Mr Tosswill giving his company exclusive first rights to the site, has expired, the ODT said.

The site is now being advertised internationally with the council asking for developers to register their interest.

In an online tender, the council said it envisaged the hotel design would include street level retail, allow for public carparking and offer facilities normally associated with a five star hotel.

Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said the development would be a valuable asset in a prime location.

"It's a great location, with close proximity to the Dunedin Centre and our vibrant city centre," Mr Christie said.

"We'll have caveats to ensure the site is not land banked or used for anything other than a hotel complex and we've asked developers to allow for public parking in their plans."

Former Dunedin mayor Dave Cull, who stepped down at the local body elections earlier this month, said recently that the failure to see a five-star hotel built in the city was one of the major disappointments from his time as mayor.

The council is expected to look over proposals early next year after expressions of interest close [www.gets.govt.nz on December 6.]

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