Tenants could help fund convention centre

The proposed rate increase to be targeted at central Queenstown commercial property owners to help pay for the $55.5 million Queenstown Convention Centre could be passed on to their tenants.

Skyline Enterprises chief executive Jeff Staniland said yesterday he had not had a chance to read the rates proposal and the feasibility report it came from, so could not form an opinion, but the impact would not be felt only by commercial property owners.

Skyline Enterprises owns eight buildings in the central business district, including the indoor O'Connell's Shopping Centre.

''Are property owners happy to see rates go up because of the benefit, well, it all depends on what the benefits are and what changes are made, so until we see the details, it's pretty hard to have a view,'' Mr Staniland said.

''It's not just the property owner who pays rates, it's the tenant. So this is not just about property owners, it's about people who lease the buildings to operate out of. The rates get proportioned.''

It has been recommended the bulk of the centre costs be met by businesses likely to benefit the most.

Funding options for the convention centre will be considered when the Queenstown Lakes District Council meets in Wanaka tomorrow.

The Queenstown Chamber of Commerce yesterday declined to comment on the council's proposed recommendation, saying it wanted to consult its members first.