Aerial pic of Moray Place, including the area being considered for the new hotel. Photo by ODT.
The Dunedin City Council appears to be in talks about another
new top-end hotel - this one in the city's central business
The Otago Daily Times understands a hotel chain is
interested in developing the council-owned Filleul St car
park site, opposite the recently redeveloped Dunedin Centre
Senior council staff said yesterday the council was in early
talks with a party that recently expressed interest in the
site, but declined to confirm any details.
Council infrastructure and networks general manager Tony
Avery said discussions were still in the initial stages and
there was ''nothing definitive'' to report.
Economic development and property manager Robert Clark said
the potential development under discussion was an ''exciting
He would not confirm the talks were about a hotel, but said
the development being discussed would be ''something that
would have a lot of synergies with the convention centre next
A multimillion dollar refurbishment of the Dunedin Centre
across the road from the site was completed last year,
turning the town hall, Glenroy Auditorium and Municipal
Chambers facilities into a modern convention venue.
Mr Avery said the council had made no secret over the years
it was interested in the Filleul St site being developed.
With the redevelopment of the town hall, now would be an even
more opportune time for that to happen.
The talks are coincidental with the recent signing of a
memorandum of understanding between the council and Chinese
developers interested in building a 27-storey 5-star hotel
near the city's waterfront.
It agreed in the memorandum to work on resolving issues
around access to the central city from the Wharf St site
proposed for the hotel.
If that could be done, it would then put the project to an
urban design panel, before looking at a plan change which
would allow the hotel to proceed, in what is at present an
Steve Rodgers, of Betterways Ltd, the developer of the
proposed Wharf St Hotel, said another company trying to build
a new hotel in Dunedin would not affect its project.
''It would be great for the city to have two 5-star hotels.
There is certainly a large need for it. Let's get the city at
Another hotel developer, Geoff Thomson, of Invercargill, is
expected, following the first of new commercial tenants
moving in, to soon start developing the rest of Dunedin's
former chief post office building into a 4-star-plus hotel
operated by his company Distinction Hotels.
It is understood the interested hotel chain is not already
represented in Dunedin. Several were contacted with no
A spokeswoman from the Accor Group confirmed it was not
A spokeswoman for Heritage Hotels said the company was always
interested in opportunities in Dunedin, but it did not
comment about any potential developments until all parties
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said it was well-known the council
had thought for a long time the Filleul St site would be good
for a hotel or other development.
''The fact someone has come along is really positive''.
He said he did not expect various hotel projects in the city,
or the council's involvement, or potential involvement, with
any of them, would clash, and it was not for the council to
put any one project ahead of any other.
''We welcome any hotel proposal that advances the aspirations
of our community, so long as it fits with our rules.''