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We believe the new building, innovation and technology will allow us to complement and focus on the importance of the historical features of Dunedin.
We know that new developments excite discussion and sometimes controversy, but a beautiful city like Dunedin is obliged to embrace its future in concert with its past.
Dunedin has Forsyth Barr Stadium, which is now rated in the top 20 stadia globally and fortunately overcame the numerous objections trying to prevent it from happening. Similar reactions were evident in London over the The Shard, the Gherkin [30 St Mary Axe] and the London Eye — which today are all accepted as notable English landmarks. There are some public misconceptions around the Dunedin proposal, which I would like to clarify.
● External glazing used will not be "mirrored". Regarding the building’s height, to attain a sustainable development and taking into consideration community and residents behind, we took the following into account:
● We reduced the width of the building as much as possible to provide view channels for the residents behind us. This, understandably, resulted in some further elevation but in our opinion it is important a five-star hotel has some rooms with views. Our design provides views of the city and across its wonderful Otago Harbour.
● There are 16 building levels but the effective overall height of the hotel and units is only 13 storeys, the same height as other buildings in Dunedin.
● Commercial and economic reasons were also considered, so residential inner-city units were introduced to support the local business community and enhance central inner-city living, which is almost non-existent in Dunedin. By offering unit sales, it reduces the debt and enhances the viability of the development.
We do not think we can duplicate the fantastic architecture of the historic buildings of Dunedin. To us it would be inappropriate.
Here are some of the benefits of this hotel development.
● This new hotel, strategically nestled within the central Dunedin precinct, will open up multiple economic and social opportunities for our city.
● Increased employment directly and indirectly.
● Increased tourism/visitor opportunities now with a five-star choice.
● Accommodation options for high-profile visitors/groups/investors.
● A globally branded five-star operator would market this Dunedin hotel across their networks.
● Increase the marketing status of Dunedin as a premium conference venue.
● Boost the marketing of Dunedin as a top venue for sporting events.
● Increase opportunities for Dunedin to promote itself as a vibrant and elegant city which embraces both new and heritage architecture.
● Support the town hall facility, adjacent to the development, to generate new revenue for the benefit of city ratepayers.
● Accommodating up to an additional 400 guests nightly.
● Support and promote local tourism ventures, amenities and outlets.
● Delivers tourist activities in the centre of town (e.g. hot pools, electric bikes etc)
. ● Provide 24-hour services currently not available in Dunedin.
● Displaying appropriate local iwi art and taonga (treasures) with possible pounamu/wood carving area on site.
This development will be a major economic generator, contributing via the council back to the community through additional rates revenue as a hotel and resident complex. Wouldn’t it be nice, in the event of another concert like Fleetwood Mac or the upcoming Ed Sheeran, to have enough of the right type of accommodation available rather than visitors flying back to Auckland or having to go outside the city to book accommodation?
Dunedin has among the best event facilities in New Zealand, but it is vital that visitors have somewhere to stay in our city. The hotel is all about promoting a Dunedin that is "open for development, tourism and business" and that innovation and technology be incorporated to complement the beautiful architecture that exists in Dunedin. The design in relation to height is intended to support the CBD area, being defined as a landmark. It is not our intention to replicate the old, historic valued buildings of Dunedin but enhance them by blending "old" with "new" to highlight the existing architecture and signify Dunedin’s readiness to move forward and support future growth. We are confident that this development will attract both domestic and international investment into Dunedin. The city will be perceived in a new light as at long last it will finally have its very own five-star hotel.