41 Wharf Street —consent renewed, with HOTEL decision pending

[via Anon]

The following non-notified consent decision appeared at the DCC website on 23 May 2013:

41 Wharf Street Dunedin (LUC-2007-775/A)

This consent was an application to/for A 3 storied building for commercial office and residential use within an Industrial 1 Zone at 41 Wharf Street Dunedin.

This was considered by the Council’s Senior Planner (Consents) on 16 May 2013.

The typos are ‘Council-supplied’.

DCC Non-notfied Consents 23.5.13 (screenshot) 1

The back story, note highlighted comment below the image:

### ODT Online Fri, 16 Dec 2011
Dunedin developer finally gets the nod
By David Loughrey
Two Environment Court documents released in the past week spell the end of a lengthy attempt by Dunedin developer Tim Barnett to fight restrictions on his ability to build on a long-empty piece of harbourside land. The documents relate to his appeal against the Dunedin City Council’s plan change 7, or harbourside rezoning which, they said, was “nugatory”, or no longer valid. That meant no restrictions remain for the land at 41 Wharf St, on which he has resource consent to build a planned three-storey office and residential building beside the Steamer Basin at Otago Harbour.

Proposed office building, 41 Wharf St [Graphic by Design Consultancy)

The future of the site, next to the overhead bridge from the harbour to Jetty St, was unclear, as Mr Barnett this week said commercial developments, which he could not discuss, were under way.

But he is still clearly unhappy with the process he has been forced to go through. The site is highly visible to thousands of passing motorists travelling to or from Portsmouth Dr and southern suburbs. In December 2007, Mr Barnett, of Arthur Barnett Properties, applied for consent to build the 3105sq m building on windswept empty land that was once part of rail shunting yards. Two months later, the site was identified by the council as a possible road linking Wharf St with a new on-ramp to the nearby overbridge, and the council has a notice of requirement over the whole site. In May 2008, Mr Barnett was granted consent for the development, but with the council’s plans creating uncertainty, it did not proceed.
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
18.5.13 Waterfront hotel investigation II

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image by Design Consultancy


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Hotel, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

21 responses to “41 Wharf Street —consent renewed, with HOTEL decision pending

  1. Belatedly from the Rugby Times…
    OH AND, Rodgers now says the building will be 98 metres tall when the plans as drawn and submitted with the resource consent application state “96.300m” from ground level.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 28 May 2013
    Back-up plan if no hotel
    By Chris Morris
    The developers behind a proposed $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin have a back-up plan if their bid is rejected by the Dunedin City Council. Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers yesterday confirmed a three-storey office building was the ”back-stop position”. It was likely to proceed if the bid to build the 98m-high hotel and apartment tower failed.

    ”For us to have a five-star hotel, it has to be in a building the size that we have applied for [98m]. It is not economic any other way. We have no intention of having a three-storey hotel.”

    Read more

    (our emphasis)

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    “We have no intention of having a three-storey hotel.” Uh-oh. What size apartment block would be a satisfactory substitute?

  3. Sing Song

    “That’s my point about China. You will be full of surprises. Don’t ever trust them … never.”

  4. Mike

    Mr/Ms Song: I regularly do business in China – the mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan (but not Shanghai) – absolutely everyone I’ve dealt with has been honest and straight as an arrow – there are cultural issues with people not telling you bad news, but that’s a form of politeness, intended to save me embarrassment, something you have to understand to do business.

    That’s not to say there aren’t a few bad apples – just nothing like what you suggest above, most people are nice honest people, just like here – as a culture they’re new to capitalism, I see the same excesses at the top end we saw in the early 1900s monster capitalists before labour got organised and started pushing back for non exploitative wages and conditions, or we’ve seen in NZ in the financial sector recently with all those investment schemes preying on naive investors (why on earth Key wants to push more new investors’ life savings into the share market I can’t understand, another case of not learning from history and being doomed to repeat it).

    I have great hopes for China, they’re going through massive changes and still trying to figure out this whole capitalism thing, a generation from now I expect a healthy democratic society not that different from our own.

    I do think your choice of a nom-de-plume is offensive and a touch racist which frankly reflects badly on all us kiwis.

    • Any populous society is not fairyland and Tinkerbell would do well to understand where power and usury is best avoided, pretending like a naive saint with halo keeps no-one safe. New Zealand has high levels of corruption, as have our larger trading partner countries.

      No-one likes getting pinged. But NZ is having a run of it – now with apples at the Russian border; our meat exports are still not moving at Chinese ports. I suggest it takes two to tango, if Tinkerbell would like to know Minister Nathan Guy just a wee bit better.

  5. Sing Song

    Only quoting someone else, who is a very prominent businessman, and has done more business, with more people, than you. You are lucky with your dealings. That’s your story.
    The Chinese ‘trying to figure out this whole capitalism thing’? You have got to be joking. This sounds somewhat paternalistic. They do capitalism rather well, don’t you think? Look at what they have achieved. We are a mere minnow in the capitalism stakes.
    I wouldn’t wait too long for democracy in China. From memory, they had a short experiment with democracy between the world wars… and that’s it in between royal dynasties and communist dictatorships.
    The choice of nom de plume is intentional and is a play on the name of the person behind this hotel gift to our city. This is exactly the kind of Chinese businessperson we don’t want to deal with. To throw in the racism card is naive and doesn’t deal with the reality that corruption in China is endemic and we have to deal with it – as was suggested by Sir Henry.
    Please no hand-wringing when we happen to criticise another culture/race when their practices may be offensive according to any moral norms of decent, human behaviour.

  6. Mike

    But in my personal experience, as I related above, corruption in China is NOT endemic – it’s probably higher than here, though we tend to paper it over when one of the good old boys get caught. But it is a huge society, 1/4 of the people on the entire planet, there are new capital flows going on, huge ones so where there is corruption it can be huge.

    In the real world people are basically good and, in China in particular, value repeat business – a lot of learning how to do business there is slowly building that trust over time – one thing I love about China is that unlike the West when you’ve driven a hard bargain, negotiate really toughly, gotten a bit heated etc afterwards people go out drinking, eat together – our natural western reaction is to walk away and not let go of that tension – but that long term relationship, a personal one, is important, after you’ve agreed to do business you actually have to do that business it’s an ongoing thing.

    I’d suggest that there’s less corruption in China than you think, and more in NZ. Here in Dunedin we have a long term connection to Southern China, we should be leveraging it – something more than political junkets

  7. Sing Song

    As I said, Mike, that is your fortunate experience/story with your Chinese contacts. Great. Not for others like Sir Henry, it seems.
    I have no argument about the existence of corruption in NZ. We see it clearly in our own backyard of Dunedin. Nevertheless, what we see as corruption, in other cultures they see as smart, business practice.
    It seems to have been your experience that pleasantries are exchanged after deals are made. Once again, that’s fine, but I never see such courtesy as particularly extraordinary. That’s just part of business, isn’t it?

  8. Mike

    Different people do business different ways – for my job I travel a lot, to a lot of different places 3-4 different countries a year – my point was that in China getting to know your business partners is a delicate process one that involves building trust in ways we don’t do here – running in, doing a deal and not really getting to know the people you’re dealing with is probably a mistake – anywhere, but particularly in China. There are cultural issues that can cause misunderstandings – like the inability for people to be able to politely say “no”, that are a minefield. These are issues in China in other places they’re different and you have to study up.

    I’m against building that silly hotel in Dunedin, there are lots of reasons why it’s a mistake, but that the people investing the money are Chinese is not one of them. Far more Brits have invested in NZ than Chinese ever have – no one complains. When foreign Uni lecturers come here and buy expensive houses do people complain? What about Aucklanders buying up Queenstown real-estate is it time to stop them? money is money.

    I do worry about people who invest in Dunedin and remove the profits from our economy – it’s why I think we should be pushing locals to invest here, to target primary industries that create or import real wealth and who leave it here. That’s a great reason why that hotel is a mistake, it will divert wealth that would normally be left with locally owned hotels out of our economy – but the fact that the money would go to China (rather then Sydney or London) is not the issue.

    But you do know that the Aussies are buying up NZ at about 15 times of the rate that all of Asia does right?
    http://nzinitiative.org.nz/site/nzbr/files/GLOBAL LINKS – FINAL – HI RES v2.pdf
    If you really want to worry about foreign investments sucking the life out of our economy start by switching to Kiwibank

  9. Sing Song

    We were referring, from the ODT article provided, specifically about the nature of that kind of negative investment or trade generated by Chinese investors.
    We must also be wary of ANY dominant investor country that purports to be doing us a favour……like ‘gifting’ a 28 storey hotel to us.
    I am equally against the kind of ingratiating grovelling from Americans, Australians, or whoever, who want to win our hearts and minds by their insistence that we are allies, or very very close friends, and so we should provide open sesame to what they want…… whether it is our resources or our commitment to their war mongering overseas.
    It is time we stood up for ourselves again… a la Nuclear Free NZ.

  10. JimmyJones

    Don’t panic Sing Song. There is so far no established Chinese connection to the Betterways Hotel. Jing Song is a Queenstown accountant who has a wealthy husband and father. She works for a company linked to Steve Rodgers who also mostly owns Betterways Advisory who are the resource consent applicant.
    Apart from rumours spread by the ODT and Steve Rodgers, there is no reason to believe that Jing Song will own any portion of the building. The intended mix of ownership of the completed hotel is completely unknown as far as I can see. They could be North Korean or Malian camel herders, there is no information. Jing Song might end up being a part owner, but to me it seems more likely that this Chinese connection is a distraction, a red herring. The intended owners want to stay hidden.
    The land for the hotel has been purchased by a new company, Wharf Street Property Ltd which has Jing Song as a director. She is not a shareholder and so far has no financial interest in the project. Wharf Street Property Ltd is owned by Steve Rodgers and an associate. The intended owners might live in Dunedin.

  11. Mike

    Well that proves nothing – the companies are owned by a lawyer’s trust – remember they don’t own the land, just an option to buy the land – so far all that’s really been bought here is legal representation at the hearings, I would guess that when actual money starts to change hands the shareholdings will change ownership.

    {The setting out of the companies’ details (shareholders and directors) is not designed to prove anything – they are statements of fact. -Eds}

  12. JimmyJones

    Mike, more recently (this week) the ODT reported a claim that the land had been purchased: “His comments came after it was confirmed Mr Rodgers and hotel backer Jing Song, of Queenstown, had bought the proposed hotel site at 41 Wharf St using a newly formed company, Wharf Street Property Ltd. The land had been owned by Dunedin property developer Tim Barnett, who had a conditional deal to sell the land to Betterways if the hotel went ahead.”

    The claim that Jing Song (with Steve Rodgers) bought the land is misleading. Jing Song is a director of Wharf Street Property Ltd but has no financial interest in the company or the land. Time will tell if there is a Chinese connection or what other owners will reveal themselves.

  13. Mike

    It’s still just owned by a lawyer’s trust fund though which proves very little.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    I like the idea of the Malian camel herders best. If they own the hotel or camel stable, that would make them ratepayers. That way perhaps they could stand for, and be elected to council. A language barrier, I hear you say? Never been a problem in the past.

  15. JimmyJones

    Mike: nothing has been proved; and that is sort of my point: I am saying that it is reckless to make any assumptions about the final ownership of the hotel. I will be reckless and say that Jing Song will not become the majority owner of the hotel.

  16. A case of how much more can we do to make this HOTEL happen.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 4 Jun 2013
    Hotel bid decision due today
    By Vaughan Elder
    The committee considering whether to allow the proposed $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin may not be able release its decision to the developers by the deadline at the end of today.
    Committee chairman Cr Colin Weatherall yesterday told the Otago Daily Times members were working on ”final details” and proof-reading the decision on consent for the 98m-high hotel and apartment building. He hoped to get the decision to the developer, Betterways Advisory Ltd, by the end of the day.
    However, there was a chance the committee would not be able to meet the deadline, as it was important that it got every detail right, Cr Weatherall said.
    If the decision was late the applicant could make a complaint under the Resource Management Act, he said.
    If completed today, it was likely the decision would be released to the public and media at a press conference tomorrow and until then Cr Weatherall would not comment on the decision.
    Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s