This car park in Union St East could be home to a second
Ngai Tahu student apartment complex in Dunedin. Photo by
Nagi Tahu is considering spending more of its millions in
Dunedin, with the iwi looking at building a second student
hostel in the city.
The news comes after it was revealed last year Ngai Tahu
Property planned to build a $20 million hostel for Otago
Polytechnic on a $2 million piece of surplus council land on
the edge of Logan Park.
Council and Otago Polytechnic staff yesterday confirmed they
and Ngai Tahu were in negotiations over the purchase of a
second piece of council land - in Union St East - bordering
the first, which could be used for another hostel development
if the first proves successful.
Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker said it was not
known how large the second hostel development would be, but
it could potentially be as large as the first, which was
planned to have as many as 235 rooms and cost about $20
''I think we would want to build this one, bed the operation
in, make sure that demand remains strong [before building the
A second hostel was always part of Ngai Tahu and the
''This was always a two-stage project,'' he said.
Ngai Tahu Property chief executive Tony Sewell said he had
''no comment at this stage''.
Polytechnic chief operating officer Philip Cullen said the
polytechnic and Ngai Tahu were still weighing up the
economics of the first hostel, with the purchase of both
pieces of land contingent on both parties approving a
''We have been working on it for a fair while and we are
getting closer and closer, [but] we are not quite there
yet,'' Mr Cullen said.
''I'm reasonably confident it will go ahead, given the desire
by both parties,'' he said.
A final outcome would likely be known by the end of March.
If the first hostel went ahead, the second piece of land
would initially be used as a car park.
The second hostel could be built in about ''five years'',
with the ground floor remaining a car park, if demand for the
first hostel was strong.
''We are planning to open the hall, should it go ahead, in
2016. It would need to operate for a minimum of two years
before we would go into a second one,'' Mr Cullen said.
The plan for both hostels was for Ngai Tahu to pay for
construction and then Otago Polytechnic to lease the
buildings and run the hostels, with the polytechnic seeking
to sign a 30-year lease.
Mr Cullen said one of the largest challenges in building a
hostel was the high cost of building materials.
Council city property manager Robert Clark said the second
piece of land - at present used as a pay-and-display car park
- was likely worth ''a little more'' than the first.
However, he could not reveal its precise value because the
transaction was yet to be completed.
Public consultation on the sale of the land would likely
begin soon, with the deal likely going through after the sale
of the first piece of land was completed.
''I would be hopeful that the first stage is wrapped up in
the next month and the second stage a little after that once
we go through ... consultation.''
It would also need to be approved by councillors.