Rival to Queenstown convention centre planned
Frankton project scheduled to open in 2016JOHN EDENS
A private developer has unveiled plans for a rival convention centre on the eve of a council decision on a $55 million central Queenstown venture.
Remarkables Park, run by Alastair Porter, published plans for a multimillion-dollar, 12-metre high centre scheduled to open in the Frankton retail precinct during the second half of 2016.
Building is expected to start late next year.
The council will discuss the authority's alternative $55 million proposal at a meeting next Thursday, although the agenda including the decision is expected early next week.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council will decide whether the authority agrees to take a major stake in a central Queenstown project with funding largely from central business district commercial ratepayers and a smaller contribution from residential ratepayers.
Council chief executive Adam Feeley said at this point it was not clear what, if any, weighting the Remarkables Park proposal would be given ''particularly given the lack of absence of any detailed information regarding the functional specifications of the venue or how its construction and ongoing operations are to be funded.''
Porter's stage one plans for a 900-delegate centre were reviewed by a joint council and Remarkables Park design board last week. Remarkables Park plans to lodge a resource consent for a 2700sqm building on Tuesday, which coincides with a final council decision on a proposed centre at the Lakeview site in Man St.
Porter said the activity was already zoned and he anticipated consent by the end of next month, paving the way for detailed construction plans and a formal building consent.
The firm's new hospitality industry executive, Alan Paris, was talking to conference organisers, he said.
''We've got a striking building in a beautiful location looking out to The Remarkables mountain range, Coronet Peak and Ben Lomond. The emphasis has been on developing a functional design to provide a very flexible use format following months of behind the scenes research, consultation and hard work.
''We were delighted to receive positive initial feedback and constructive ideas from the design review board, which was made up of highly experienced Queenstown architects and landscape architects.
''This is a key investment that will significantly contribute to the economic welfare of the whole district.''
Design plans by Mason & Wales envisage two-stage construction and include capabilities for plenary, dining, exhibition, cocktail and breakout facilities.
''Stage one could, for example, provide for a conference for 900 people lecture-style, followed by 600 for dinner plus 50 to 60 full-size exhibition booths. For a dinner alone, it could cater for 900.''
Stage two, which has been designed to cater for future growth and development, would increase that capacity by more than 50 per cent.''
Remarkables Park also plans to build two hotels, new retail stores, cafes and bars to the north of the proposed centre site.
- The Southland Times