Queenstown developer Alastair Porter says his company,
Remarkables Park Ltd (RPL), has the money to fund a proposed
conference centre at Frankton, the company believing it to be
the ''optimal site'' and the proposal the one which would
deliver the ''greatest economic value to the district''.
However, Queenstown Lakes District Council chief executive
Adam Feeley said the council would consider the development
of a convention centre at its Lakeview site at its full
meeting next week.
In a statement Mr Feeley said it was ''unclear what, if
any'', weighting the RPL proposal would be given,
particularly given the ''lack of ... any detailed
information'' on several aspects of RPL's proposal.
Mr Porter said the RPL centre could open in 2016, ''well in
advance'' of any convention centre being built by the council
at its Lakeview site, and the council could ''develop
Lakeview for affordable housing or sell the site''.
He said the company had provided information to the council
on ''at least 10 occasions'' and councillors had been
''repeatedly invited'' to the site for a briefing.
''I just don't understand Adam Feeley's problem with this.
''We are a huge development company; we have built more
expensive development than this; we have never had any
problems funding our development nor ... operating our
''Would we be spending this time or money on design and
hiring people to work for it if we weren't able to do it? I
don't think so.''
Mr Porter plans to lodge resource consent for the ''major
multimillion-dollar'' 3900sq m centre next week, and aims to
have stage one, covering 2700sq m, open in the second half of
To date Mr Porter has not put an exact dollar figure on RPL's
proposed centre, but said yesterday ''we know we can handle
In September Mr Porter said his centre was ''based on private
equity funding'', but the company ''remained open to joint
venture capital injections'' from other private equity and
central and/or local government sources.
Yesterday he said additional funding from other sources would
either allow RPL to scale up the facilities or begin
developing stage two in conjunction with stage one.
''We do not claim to be building to the highest specification
- we are building a conference centre that works well for
Queenstown and relates to the environment.
"We are not trying to match Sydney, Dubai or Hong Kong - the
key reason people come to Queenstown is Queenstown.''
The two-stage development had been designed by architects
Mason and Wales after ''research trips'' to Australia,
Rotorua, Auckland and Hamilton had ''fine-tuned'' what was
He said the activity was allowed within the Remarkables Park
zone and it was anticipated consent would be granted by the
end of next month.
After that RPL would work on detailed construction drawings
in preparation for lodging building consent.
In a statement Mr Porter said RPL had ''consistently
delivered what it has said it is going to deliver and will
continue to do that''.
''The conference centre project is well within RPL's capacity
to fund and operate. The council centre will cost the
community in excess of $110 million in development, building
and financing costs.
''Two-thirds of this is proposed to be paid for by ratepayers
outside the CBD, yet the CBD will get the most benefits. In
contrast, the Remarkables Park Conference Centre is not going
to be financed by rates.''
Subject to consents, it was expected construction would begin
At a glance
To be built in two stages.
Stage 1: A 2700sq
m flat-floor facility with an overall height of about 2m,
featuring two adjoining conference spaces, breakout rooms and
an exhibition and pre-function foyer area, catering for up to
Stage 2: Additional 1200sq m comprising three
additional breakout rooms and additional plenary, banquet and
exhibition space. Subject to consent, construction could
begin next autumn with the facility planned for completion by
the second half of 2016.