Skyline says time is right for $6m waterfront 'hub'

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 01/04/2014

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Queenstown's central business district is in for its first major post-recession build, with an announcement by tourism powerhouse Skyline Enterprises of an intended $6 million retail and office hub.

The high-end three-storey building on the corner of Marine Pde and Church St will nestle alongside Eichardt's Private Hotel, facing Queenstown Bay on a now-undeveloped 781 square metre site. Skyline has owned the land for the past decade.

Skyline Enterprises chief executive officer Jeff Staniland said market forces and the recovering economy signalled the time was right to proceed with the plan.

"Skyline Enterprises already has over 70 tenants in the CBD and there is currently strong demand as there hasn't been any new supply come to the market in recent time. Our recovering economy, aligned with current and predicted growth in the Asian markets and coupled with trends in luxury shopping habits, is giving us further confidence in the market," he said.

A start date was subject to the resource consent process, but Staniland hoped the building could be completed in 2015. The building was described as "modern in design, [but] sympathetic and responsive to its historic neighbour Eichardt's".

First-floor frontage onto Marine Pde will be clad primarily in Oamaru stone, while further along Church St it will feature weathered and exposed steel.

The ground floor retail space of about 700sqm has been set aside for high-end retail stores, the first floor for either premium office space, more retail or visitor accommodation, and a luxury two-bedroom apartment with extensive balconies is planned for the top floor.

News of the development was welcomed by Destination Queenstown chief executive officer Graham Budd and the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce.

"This supports our strategy of attracting more high-value visitors who stay longer and spend more," Budd said.

Skyline Enterprises operates mostly in leisure and entertainment, with a business portfolio including Skyline Queenstown, Skyline Rotorua, The Helicopter Line, Mitre Peak Cruises, Christchurch Casino and Singapore's Skyline Luge Sentosa.

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