$100m hotel for Dunedin waterfront

A $100 million 28-storey luxury hotel - which would be the tallest building in Dunedin - is planned for the city's waterfront.

Plans for the five-star hotel on Wharf St were unveiled at a lunchtime press conference by Steve Rodgers, of Rodgers Law. The identity of the developers has yet to revealed. 

The hotel will have a rooftop restaurant, 164 apartments, 215 rooms and 121 car-parks.

Resource consent applications are being lodged today and the project is planned to be completed by 2015, he said.  

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton also fronted the announcement. 

In a statement yesterday, Mr Rodgers said the proposed development would elevate Dunedin as a tourism destination both domestically and internationally and would provide significant economic benefits to the city and surrounding region.

Support for the development included Queenstown businessman Sir Eion Edgar and Arrowtown businessman Sir Michael Hill, he said.



Progress, yeah right

The hotel is another ill-conceived, grandiose scheme - if we are going to do some progress in the city, it should be surely in the line of adding a few more visitor attractions, which (hello!) would surely then start to validate another hotel. So far we only have one standout attraction, apart from precincts of so called 'tired old buildings' that visitors come far and wide to see, and that is the Taieri Gorge Railway.

We have an opportunity to have a steamship sailing up and down the harbour, a real visitor drawcard (just look how the Earnslaw does) but the comparitive drop in the bucket cost of overhauling the historic SS Te Whaka evades the council, she goes for scrap, and instead they go for a stadium that sits empty for all but a few hours and now a hotel to do the same. [abridged]

No-one is against "progress"

I am not "old" or "against progress", I'm 39 and a successful Internet entrepreneur.  I moved from Auckland to Dunedin for the amazing heritage vibe and environment.  If I wanted to live among giant glass covered Miami cereal boxes I would have moved to Miami where my Sister lives (It's certainly warmer!).  I make a living from "progress" in technology so I am no stranger to the concept and execution of progress.

Negative Dunedin

What has become of 'My' Dunedin?

A city that was built on the toil of those who came here from far and wide to make for themselves a better life, with the desire to create a city that served all its citizens, young and elderly. The same 'Whinge Crew' of negative people who constantly put forward their views that Dunedin must not, at any cost, look towards the future and enter the 21st century.

We need to invest in large projects and take into account the huge spin offs for local businesses and job opportunities for the many business interests that will be involved. It is a fact that this city lacks accomodation for major events. I say stop thinking small, and I for one applaud the project and suggest you look at the cities around the world and see that buildings above three storeys tall are really quite normal. I am a ''senior'' and Dunedin is where I live. This city has provided me with many stunning experiences and I say open your eyes and embrace the new as the old is really getting tired. I fully support this venture and am 100% behind that word ''progress''.


The fact that Sir Eion Edgar is a 'mover' behind this scheme makes me feel uneasy. I take it that we are talking the same 'Eion Edgar', whose unbounded enthusiasm for the stadium knew no bounds. Just look where that got us.
I am not disputing that - if a need is able to be shown - extra hotel accommodation would be desirable. But please, not this huge, hideous example of most of what is wrong with contemporary architecture, on a site which is gob-smackingly unsuitable for it.
The footprint of the building is enclosed on all sides by amenities and infrastructure which will be expected to move aside to make room for the hotel and its associated amenities. Following the precedent set by the stadium, those will be rolled out one by one as extra costs to the city's ratepayers.
The illusion of high occupancy will, in the end, be satisfied by visitors on package tours. These people are miserable in the extreme and notably do not spend, probably because many of them cannot afford to. Fiction? No, it's something I learned by doing three art residencies in parts of Tropical North Queensland, where I was selling and promoting my own work.
It's all part of the 'buying-business' fallacy where people become bewitched by 'numbers', 'turnover' and 'throughput' and leave considerations of profitability until it is too late. Dunedin is far enough down this pathway of self-delusion already. [Abridged]



Who has to look at it?

Eion Edgar and Michael Hill? They got support from two mega-rich people that don't even live here. I suggest we build hotels in front of their mansions instead.


Amazing how they can make this building transparent isn't it? Why, you'll virtuall look right through it. Could be a hazard for air. traffic.

Misplaced building

Why do you have to ruin the beautiful landscape of Newealand with this bulky and horrible building? It may fit to some realy big cities wherever, but not to New Zealand. If you start with this monster, there may be more buildings like this coming soon and the beauty of your land will be gone. Please don´t keep on going!

New hotel

When I saw this on Saturday I thought it was an April fools' joke. It was interesting to note what looks like the back of a cruise ship tied up at the wharf. There's a reason they berth at Port Chalmers - it's deep enough to do so. And a twenty-plus storey building on reclaimed land? Pure brilliance.

Waterfront hotel.

The proposed waterfront hotel is a small version of the United Nations headquarters building on the Hudson River waterfront in New York. That's 39  storeys where this one is only 28 but there's no mistaking the similarity. The New York building was chiefly designed by Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier - an unusual collaboration - and was opened in 1952.

The people behind the Dunedin hotel aren't being very original, and are being a lot more Modernist than modern.

The building is overscale for the site and isn't a very good style fit with the revivalist colonial buildings surrounding it. (The Wikipedia has a good image of the New York building.)


All over again, sigh

Nothing new in hearing the rhetorical words ‘negative' and ‘flat earthed society', in wake of the stadium farce, to those who try to keep a few shreds of uniqueness about a place, and not let it go like many other places in the world.

There are always these same, who think character heritage buildings such as those in Dunedin, should all be torn down and soulless centrals of glass and steel, generic, be erected.

Oh well, I guess they say ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. In this case I think more would value the heritage precinct nature of Dunedin and not want a large edifice slapped down the waterfront, satnding out incongrous like a sore toe. Once it opens, it will be interesting to see how quick it loses money, and changes hands. Within 20 years it will look dated and even more be considered ugly, even by the modernists. [abridged]

Council involvement

Dear Mr Cull,

Is the Dunedin City Council or any of its associated companies in any way involved in putting up any money for this hotel project? Will the developer be receiving any special rebate on rates, council services, or land?

I feel somewhat uneasy as you have been involved with this announcement and we have a member of the Carisbrook stadium trust named as being associated. Not a repeat performance?

Uneasy ratepayer

Who controls Dunedin?

Certainly not the majority of the people who live here. We are at the whim of those who have money to spin out, casting their nets into our council's coffers, future and present.

Just imagine what the stadium's $250m could have done for us if allocated somewhat more diversely. We bought the biggest egg we could buy, put it in our only basket, and it hatched a parasitic deformed monster.  Let's have no illusion that the potential development of this ghastly, contextually incongruous, artless monolith is for the benefit of the people in, and behind, the video.

As before (hopefully not always) the monied class of Dunedin doesn't give a stuff for the will of the majority.



Blocking the view

Blocking the view and ruining the view are two different things.  Do you honestly think anyone wants to look out towards the beautiful harbour view and see that ridiculous mirror-covered bling tower monstrosity sticking out like a sore thumb?  I am convinced the only people supporting this so-called "progress" have a vested interest - there is no other possible explanation.  Well good luck, and prepare to be outnumbered 100 to 1.

Not the arrows

28 storeys is taller than the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Christchurch that isn't there any more.  The reclaimed land in the harbourside shows on all the hazard maps as "prone to liquefaction".  Do we learn nothing?

St Clair and St Kilda?  Old swamp land which the city will probably be forced into "managed retreat" from? 

Magic fantasy hotel?

The video for this project clearly illustrates nearly all of it's failings.

We begin by flying around the beautiful low rise city of Victorian and Edwardian structures, nothing more than 5 storeys high until- What The-? Someone has dropped a giant featureless box by the water. 28 storeys? Seriously? Let's ask the dead of Christchurch about the wisdom of skyscrapers on jelly land.

But, we must admit, this building is magical! For the first half of the video it is see-through. That's great, that means it won't ruin anyone's view and also as the video shows, won't cast shadows. Technology eh? 

Learn from Auckland's mistakes. Up north we bought into this stupidity a couple of times. You lot are smarter than us. Now, prove it. [Abridged]

It’s the arrows that did it

The comments on this particular subject are getting more hysterical than usual when something major is proposed. Quite a number of correspondents sound as though they belong to the Flat Earth Society. The next thing they will be telling us that the firing of arrows into the air is causing global warming.

As for redeveloping the old wool stores and the like, they have always been an eyesore and were built to the lowest tender and cheap materials.
The old Post Office in no way is an historic building, With today's negativity it never would have been built as it was completely out of character with the architecture of that area at the time.

As for building on reclaimed land, at least give the structural engineers some credit. If that line of thought was adopted in the past then nothing would have been built in the majority of the South Dunedin and St Kilda areas.

As for casting shadows or blocking views, over 90% of people in Dunedin live well above the height of the proposed building and in no way be affected. [Abridged]


So far attempts at rebuliding of the hotel in the chief post office have fallen flat and stayed there, it would be a surely better idea - heritage building smack downtown, and would fill accomodation needs nicely. Concentrate on what needs done first. But if you are going to build a mega hotel, then surely we need to build/create a few more vsitor attractions. Oh, no, that's right, we are throwing everything at the $300 odd million white elephant that occasionally has a bit of a crowd in it after its flop ‘RWC honeymoon period'.

This is just a regrouping of turning the harbourfront into yuppie central, after the plans to destory its historic integrity, and displace industry were stood down. The ideas get sillier and sillier. I don't think we have ever been short of accomodation so far, and the rate things are going in Dunedin, places will be closing down, unable to pay their rates, and with low patronage.

But, who knows, maybe in lieu of the sad situation in Christchurch... butr if so we need to increase our visitor attractions, or the crowds won't be coming for long.

Read this?

Might I suggest you try reading the paper instead of just posting negative comments?

If you did that you may would have come across this - 


Come on!

Come on "mcrowl". You have posted twice now about this development blocking harbour views for "much of the city" and also "many places", if you really think that, I suggest you do some research on perspective. It's quite literally physically impossible for this to be true. Especially considering how small the footprint would be. Unless of course one was standing in the railyards looking towards the harbour with the hotel directly in the way, but then you wouldn't see it anyway due to preexisting structures, and the fact you are two meters above sea level, just the same as for anywhere in Dunedin on the flat.

Southern end of town?

I do not see how this hotel development will rejuvenate the southern end of town when it is on the harbourside.

Is more accomodation needed in the city - Yes!. Do we need more low paid jobs - Yes! Are the Mayor, Tourism Dunedin, Chamber of Commerce, et al trying to deflect attention away from the apalling performance re the stadium - Yes

And does the district plan allow a 20+ storey building to be build in the zone? How much shadowing will the hotel create? What will the ratepayer end up subsidising for the hotel to be built? Roading perhaps? 

'Roll out the red carpet and not the red tape' for big dollar outside investment but  make it very difficult for local business to thrive.

Much as I would like to believe that this development to happen I find it hard to believe that it will happen by 2015.


If Dunedin's architecture is such a tourist attraction how can we let beautiful buildings like the old Post Office and the National Bank on the exchange stay derelict and empty, while proposing to build such a monstrosity that would look so out of place in our beautiful city.

it would ruin the skyline, the view from the hills looking towards the penninsula and in 20 years time will look dated and ugly.

Buildings like the one opposite the old Post Office on Princes St have been wonderfully restored and modernized and this is the way the council should be envisioning the future of Dunedin's aesthetics. We need to treasure our distinct history by valuing the buildings we already have, not letting them go to ruin. I thought the old Post Office was going to be turned into a grand hotel? What happened to this idea?

High St is also an area of grand old architecture being neglected. A tram going up High St would be a great tourist attraction if the street was beautified, giving tourists a wonderful view of our city. A train taking visitors from the cruise ships into town would be another great idea.

We need to make use of what makes Dunedin unique rather than build generic structures that could be found anywhere else in the world.

I'm very sad the council does not seem to see a vision like this is exactly what will ruin our beautiful city.


Move on?

Rates old boy, rates . . . we can't move on because we have to pay!

Potential eyesore

Potential eyesore is the major problem. No-one would complain, I think, if a new hotel was built and it gave considerable work to a number of people, and drew tourists to the town. But the placement of this particular hotel is the problem. And the height. It blocks the harbour view from many places.

Note the 'angle'

What an odd angle the graphic in the ODT showed the proposed new hotel from. Wondered why? Well it shows the bare building in all its hideous mirror-glass enormity. What it cunningly does not show is how it looks in relation to the rest of the city, and especially its architecture, and that is because it would look so totally out-of-place, an example of generic Australia's 'Gold Coast' architectural 'bling' dumped in our midst, and the first step in the retrograde process of branding Dunedin, as 'just-the-same as everywhere else'; likely, making it less, not more, attractive to visit.

This building, in no way, complements the aesthetics of our city's built environment. Dunedin can succeed as a viable and desirable tourist destination, by taking things one responsible step at a time.

Approval for this monstrosity would be an environmental disaster, and 'once it is up' is too late for the people of Dunedin to find that out; because then we would find ourselves stuck with it; as if we are not 'stuck', most of us, with something else we didn't want, already.

I too, pondered the date of the press release, suspecting, (as did my spouse, who was on to it before I was), that it was intended to be the 'feel-good' antidote to the other major news item of the day.[abridged]


After all the nonsense we have been through, do they really think we will fall for this sham?


Don't be naive...

Yeah, ask Orewa Beach north of Auckland how it worked out for them.  A low rise beautiful beach town, suddenly a giant silver wart constructed, an overbearing monstrosity.  But it's ok, like the developers stated it's for the good of all and to move Orewa to a bright new future.  Fast forward several years later, investors have done a runner and the place is suffering from leaky building syndrome.  Residents are likely to pick up the tab for 10s of millions in repair costs.  The "progress" Orewa got resulted in a leaky ghetto that people try not to talk about as it makes them feel sick.  Let's hope your faith in these nameless high rise Dunedin developers pays off better than the suckers up north.

As someone else has noted

As someone else has noted, this is reclaimed land.  Quite apart from the issues with the railway lines, the developers want to build this on an area which used to be under water.  It's not that long since there was a fuss about building anything close to the shore because of potential tsuanims and earthquakes.  

But apart from that, this building blocks the view of the harbour for much of the city.  But wait! you say, the developers think it's a good idea therefore it should go ahead... Pardon?   Forget how the community feels about this; the developers have the final say.  

We only need to look at what's happened in Queenstown to see what happens when developers get their own way at every point.  Ugly hotels plunked up against the hillsides and endless tourist shops in every direction.    


Hard for a city that's broke to be optimistic when we're all still nursing our backsides from the last major development!

A case of do as I say, not as I do

Yeah nah criticises people for 'screaming' at the top of their lungs their unhappiness around the stadium debt and lack of political accountability for those on council. Seems s/he feels we are being all too negative and should be nice and positive like he is, and let those who made these poor fiscal decisions continue on holding positions of authority in the city?. Besides that does Yeahnah not see the irony? A case of the pot calling the kettle black I think.

Dunedin City

I would not like to stay on the top floor with the full blast of the NE winds.  Whoever designed this does not know Dunedin. 

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
SeriousMedicineDunedinMarketing Services
Shell Dee StreetInvercargillService Stations
Mosgiel Central KindergartenMosgielChildcare & Kindergartens
Everitt Enterprises LtdDunedin