The proponents of a five-star hotel and apartment building on the Dunedin waterfront say it would deliver “significant” economic and financial benefits to the city.
This week Dunedin City Council is meeting ratepayers to discuss proposals to stop the ongoing financial slide of the Forsyth Barr Stadium – with debts projected to amount to $4m for each of the next three years.
Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers, the spokesman for the hotel project, said not only would the hotel give a massive boost to the commercial building sector during design and construction, but employ around 100 people, create more work for hotel service industries, and deliver huge benefits to ratepayers once operational.
“We are confident that it will increase tourists choosing Dunedin as a destination, which will benefit all tourism operators and the existing accommodation providers,” he said.
“Plans are for 164 apartments in the building, which based on average sales values would deliver more than $400,000 into Dunedin City Council coffers on an annual, ongoing basis.
“While it might be difficult at this stage to accurately predict increased visitor numbers and the wider benefits for the Dunedin business sector from the hotel, the apartments and the hotel would provide a substantial increase in the rate income base for the city.
“The apartments would be marketed for residential accommodation and as an investment opportunity to local, New Zealand and overseas individuals or businesses, and as such would deliver flow-on benefits to the economy.
“There are so many levels on which the proposed hotel is in the best interests of this city.
“As this is a privately-funded proposal, it has no financial affect that will increase the debt burden of the city and ratepayers.”
Tourism Dunedin CEO Hamish Saxton said that the hotel proposal had attracted interest from vital connections in the city of Chong Qing, as highlighted by the visit of Deputy/Vice Director of Municipal Administration and Chair of Chong Qing City Travel Media Ltd Mr Yi Min Sun.
“Dunedin needs to take advantage of the surge in growth from the Chinese market to New Zealand, the third largest visitor source to the country,” he said.
“In order to be attractive and relevant to the market, visitor offerings need to be refreshed or developed to meet expectation. A five-star property is not only relevant to the Chinese market, but to New Zealand and global business and leisure travellers who have expectations of high-end accommodation.”