Battle of the hotels : DCC meat in the sandwich (unedifying)

proposed-hotel-via-facebook-odt-filesCr Hilary Calvert emailed the following questions to senior council officers on Sunday, 16 September 2016 at 1:20 p.m., with regards to the DCC-owned parking area in Filleul St, proposed as the site for a new privately developed hotel.

[Staff names have been removed. -Eds]

Enterprise Dunedin provides part reply on Friday, 7 October 2016, at 5:03 p.m.

Q: How many car parks will be lost if this project goes ahead, and what would be the loss of revenue to the DCC?

A: The number of car parks that may be lost cannot be accurately determined at this point in time. The next stage in the project following the due diligence period will provide that level of detailed information.

Q: What development contribution and/or rates relief was provided on the Chief Post Office site, in total, for that site?

A: Enterprise Dunedin does not have this information. I will forward the request to Finance for them to respond.

Q: How many first class beds are we short of in Dunedin according to your information? Does the industry agree with your assessment of what we are short of?

A: In the 2012 evidence for the Resource Consent Application for Betterways Ltd, Stephen Hamilton’s (Horwath Asia Pacific Ltd) ‘Market Gap Report’ indicated “the need for an internationally branded 5 star hotel and another 4 star plus hotel for Dunedin to remain competitive with Tier 1 and Top Tier 2 destinations is 150-250 rooms”.

No reply has been received, we understand, for this fourth question which was directed to another senior council officer:

Q: What is the number of parks we will be losing as a result of … likely central city changes such as bus hub and cycleways, in the vicinity of the central city within the range of those who would park and walk to their work close to the Filleul St site (maybe Moray Place south, Princes St and George St to the outer end of the Golden Block, seaward to the far side of Cumberland)?

dcc-webmap-filleul-st-parking-area-shaded-1DCC Webmap – Filleul St council-owned parking area (shaded)

Furthermore, after noting public concerns about the loss of car parks, an OIA request by Hilary Calvert was submitted to Sandy Graham, Group Manager Corporate Services, on Friday, 14 October 2016 at 10:28 a.m.

Re: OIA Parks new hotel [Filleul Street]
Q: Would it be possible to get information from [City Property] about how many parks there are on this property and any affected by the sale i.e. any contiguous property on which DCC has parks.

Reply is pending.


Mr Tosswill (NZ Horizon Hospitality Group Ltd – incorporated 20 Jan 2016) has some competition, as does DCC on what it knows or chooses not to reveal……

There’s only ONE WINNER, it’s not likely to be DCC.
Market research shows Mrs Hagaman is quite correct.

“Ratepayers need to know the region’s five-star market is very small.”
–Lani Hagaman, Scenic Circle

### ODT Online Sat, 15 Oct 2016
Five-star hotel planned; site, height unclear
By Dene Mackenzie
The Scenic Circle Group is planning a five-star hotel in Dunedin but the company will not reveal where it will build the $34 million 120-room hotel, or its height. The hotel would have restaurants, bars, conference rooms and a luxury day spa. The hotel group, owned by Earl and Lani Hagaman, has owned and operated the 178-room, 4.5-star Dunedin Scenic Hotel Southern Cross since 1984 and, in 2003, built the 121-room four-star Scenic Hotel Dunedin City. […] Mrs Hagaman yesterday  launched stinging criticism of the council and its involvement with Mr Tosswill. She said she advised the council about Scenic’s plans for a five-star property more than three months ago and was surprised the council entered into an exclusive deal with another developer.
Read more

dcc-webmap-scenic-circle-group-princes-high-broadway-rattray-sts-shaded-1DCC Webmap – Scenic Circle / Hagaman properties (shaded), The Exchange

Related Posts and Comments:
● 5.10.16 Dunedin bauble #votecatcher
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11.1.16 Un hôtel. Dunedin.
19.8.15 Hotels ? Business ? [DCC lost +++152 fleet vehicles] —Cull in charge of building chicken coops, why ?
1.4.14 HOTEL Town Hall… Another investment group, Daaave’s pals from the communist state?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Enterprise Dunedin, Finance, Geography, Heritage, Hotel, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Urban design, What stadium

24 responses to “Battle of the hotels : DCC meat in the sandwich (unedifying)

  1. My heart bleeds for the Hagamans. They are concerned about ratepayer money spent on hotel developments, but hang on, they got a good screw on stadium land through council offshoot, the CST. Then they downplay the need here for a five star hotel by competitors and subsequently put forward their own proposal for the same.
    The council must be laughing……as they should.
    Repugnant people.

  2. Elizabeth

    The council needs a good kick up the tail. As yet we have no idea what the Hagamans are proposing in terms of 5-star bed numbers. They are correct in saying that 5-star isn’t a large market in terms of the basic hotel boxing model. But that’s not the only model or market.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    What a pity the high quality, personal attention to preferences, homestays were rated out of existence. Quiet private comfort, discreet, ideal for the people who have money but aren’t keen on being “on show”, a peaceful break which suits the Dunedin style of attractions.
    Greed for rates money knocked those very high quality ones as well as the average standard homestays. Like all the accommodation and hospitality business, they never had 365 days a year occupancy. Some homestays were an “extra” help for the household budget, others were specially set up for the high price, high standards market – that could have grown, they were still relatively new and I think it’s one of those things that would have grown through peer to peer word of mouth more than conventional advertising.

  4. pb

    Dunedin needs a massive injection of beds like a hole in the head. Dunedin is a lucky little town which gets some big events occasionally. When the big events come, people notice bed shortage. It’s the quiet times, when accommodation providers go slowly broke, that people don’t notice. What the town really needs is more trade, more people, or a bigger engine.

    The legacy of being the first capital of New Zealand drags on. Dunedin hasn’t grown for decades! The population of Dunedin should be the councillors KPI, not beds FFS. Modest growth, coupled with more trade. Or else match the hotel growth to the population growth, which is pretty much zero.

    Five star has nothing to do with it. Better off with collapsible tents for the big nights. This is growing into a field-of-dreams style build-it-and-they-will-come boondoggle of councillors (read us) by a developer with an elastic debt facility.

  5. Peter

    I am happy to leave it to the developers to decide when there is enough capacity for five star accommodation.
    If there is too much, reduce room rates down to four star. Good for consumers.
    Aside from anything else, it sounds like this guy Toswill is a big dreamer….nothing up and running elsewhere yet.
    Poor old Hagaman might be safe yet.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Any mention of apartments as well as the 5-star accommodation, from either of the developers? That was what took up most of the floors of the harbourside scheme.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, apartments at Toss-will edifice. Not sure numbers, nor if short-stay or leasing.

      No idea re Scenic Circle in terms of possible apartments in any new hotel or hotel addition.

  7. Anonymous

    The shoe on the Scenic Circle site has been dropping for a while. It’s long been suspected that the buy-up of adjacent properties has been to assemble a suitably-large site on the Rattray/High St location.

  8. Gurglars

    At least it won’t assist the plutocrats diminish the numbers of car parks for shoppers.

  9. swinging vicar

    Quite. You and Hilary are Socratic, Elizabeth. Anyone subject to cross examination by both would Cave (a place in Sth Canterbury).

    I just wonder how many rival proposals can be ‘fantastic news’.

  10. Elizabeth

    “Many apartment buyers are parents of international students with hopes of moving to New Zealand through sponsorship of their children … The changes in immigration rules will now give them no more reason to buy.” –James Law, realtor

    ### NZ Herald Online 4:39 PM Tuesday Oct 18, 2016
    Realtor offers free Mercedes Benz with North Shore apartment purchase
    By Lincoln Tan
    A realtor is offering a free Mercedes with purchase of apartments on Auckland’s North Shore. James Law Realty, which is marketing Chelsea Bay Residences in Birkenhead, is including a Mercedes-Benz A-Class A180 – valued at around $51,000 on the road – to buyers of its “premium” apartments. […] Premium residences at the 56-apartment development on Rawene Rd are priced upwards of $900,000.
    [Massey University Chinese marketing specialist Henry Chung] said apartments are often not the property of choice for most Chinese and extra incentives were needed to motivate them to buy. “The majority of Chinese buyers prefer to buy stand-alone houses with land if they can.”
    Read more

    █ Chelsea Bay Residences is a freehold development designed by Auckland architects, Leuschke Group.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “The majority of Chinese buyers prefer to buy stand-alone houses with land if they can.”
      So even for Chinese, apartments are second best.
      NZ developers seem to have been busily building apartments on the assumption that “other people” want to live in them, whereas it’s the only option for many. Chinese can’t be assumed to want to live exactly as they did “back home” – people who want to live exactly as they did back home stay back home. Students and people on contracts find a temporary perch, and fly to somewhere that better suits their taste when they can.

  11. Elizabeth

    This is the “Market Gap Report” referred to in the post at the top of this thread by Enterprise Dunedin.

    The report was authored by Horwath HTL’s Stephen Hamilton on 3 December 2012 – and delivered as evidence to hearing for Resource Consent application LUC-2012-212 : ‘Betterways’ hotel and apartment tower proposed for 41 Wharf St.

    The document is public domain and held in my evidence files from hearing.

    Market Gap Report Hotels – Evidence Stephen Hamilton, Horwath HTL (PDF, 482 KB)

  12. Elizabeth

    Wed, 19 Oct 2016
    ODT: Site investigation begins
    A drilling rig was moved on to the Filleul St car park in central Dunedin yesterday to begin work to assess the site’s suitability as the possible future home of an 18-storey five-star hotel. The geotechnical assessment was expected to take up to three weeks […] The council would pay the estimated $50,000 cost of the geotechnical work and would consider [NZ Horizon Hospitality Group’s] request for development contributions relief, worth another $1 million, if the company sought to buy the site.

  13. Elizabeth

    Oh Yay *sigh

    “The idea is to try and make a mini Hanmer.” –Ken Taylor

    ### Last updated 16:33, October 4 2016
    New luxury Dunedin hotel to include ‘mini Hanmer’ hotpools
    By Hamish McNeilly
    A $70 million, 200-room luxury hotel is being proposed for a central Dunedin site. The 18-storey building would be operated by an as yet unnamed international hotel brand, and include three storeys built underground at the Dunedin City Council-owned Filleul St carpark. The development by NZ Horizon Hospitality Group Proprietary Limited is owned Anthony Tosswill, of Tekapo. Project spokesman and architectural designer Ken Taylor, of Dunedin, said he would not comment on the project’s backer as the developer wanted to stay anonymous. […] The project is understood to have a budget of between $50m and $70m with 200 bedrooms, 42 apartments and 10 suites. The proposed five star hotel, a first of its kind for Dunedin, would also include two restaurants, a bar, gym and a hot-pool complex complete with retractable roof. […] Taylor said it took 18 months to get the project beyond the concept phase.
    Read more

  14. Elizabeth


    When DCC becomes The Apologist you have to Worry. “Diagrams” (!!!??? sketches? renders? concepts? bulk and location studies?)….. don’t let’s freaking pretend DCC’s an expert in architecture now!@ – Harland got rid of the City Architect, and thereby any possible notion of professional design attention to pre-Application detail [RMA planners, rudderless Urban Design personnel… nope].

    In some way, let’s hope the Hagaman’s take DCC and their Tekapo bovver boy to the cleaners.

    Wed, 23 Nov 2016
    ODT: Design of hotel to be revisited
    The man behind an 18-storey hotel proposed for the heart of Dunedin is revising the building’s design. Anthony Tosswill, of Tekapo, has employed the services of a Dunedin architect to redraw plans for the building, it was confirmed yesterday. […] She would not name the architect, but said Mr Tosswill had employed “somebody that we’re really pleased about – somebody who has a … good reputation in the city”.

  15. Elizabeth

    [October 2016]

    DCC Official Information
    Hotel MOU LGOIMA 270239 (PDF, 848.7 KB)
    Request by Chris Morris ODT.

    [click to enlarge]


  16. Elizabeth

    It doesn’t get any better does it ? – it’s not the (respected) architect so much as the fault of the client brief and the gormless DCC who have No Ability in their bones to offer in-house expert Architectural and Urban Design Guidance for the Heritage City (where is a freaking independent urban design panel ????????????? for the avoidance of this type crap). Looks cheap and old hat – as if Dunedin is only catching up the mistakes made at Auckland by Chase 30-40 years ago.
    GREAT SITE, simply rubbish articulation, modulation and bulk location, with the indicative material handling in firm disarray.

    Off to Court, folks. Tell Mr tosspit Tosswill to take a flying leap.

    What happened to the potential for a sensitive elegant terraced complex with lots of vegetation, for the pride of Dunedin ? JFC

    More later.

    At Facebook:

    • Hype O'Thermia

      {hollow laughter}
      Elizabeth, you’ve said what I thought when I saw the picture – Chase Corporation have at last arrived in Dunedin!
      We were so lucky back in the big shoulderpads & 5 hour lunches era that Dunedin was too “backward” to attract the heritage wreckers, mirrorglass erectors.
      Surely we haven’t run out of luck THAT BADLY!
      Not even with Cull and the Grader….

      • Elizabeth

        I fear we might have, Hype. Felt sick at 7am, not because I was pregnant with optimism.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Optimism would be highly inappropriate.
          There is however something appropriate about architecture referencing that period, for Dunedin now.
          The Chase (and Fay, Richwhite, Hawkins, Brierley, Judge, Renouf) era saw NZ vulgarised and asset-stripped and rife with self-adulation by those who benefited. Mirrorglass was hardly an accident: “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the greatest success of all?” PM Jim Bolger admonished those who insufficiently appreciated the “contribution” made by these business geniuses and urged emulation instead of resentment – as the assets built up by our forefathers were flogged off because private enterprise does everything better. They were then asset stripped and left moribund for taxpayers to later resuscitate because NZ does after all need railways…. and so on.
          And then came the Crash.
          See what I’m getting at?
          Dunedin, little behind the times dowdy Dunedin, escaped the notice of those Champagne charlies.
          Now we’re (at last) getting a mirrorglass erection, a retro “screw you” to those who weren’t adequately screwed in the 80s.
          Just at the time when Dunedin’s Giant Mutant Killer Chickens are circling, coming home to roost.
          Just in time for Dunedin’s own home-crafted organic Crash.

        • Elizabeth


  17. nick

    Eerrrrr. Arr hemmmm.
    The geotech report all looked fine for building the new tower . . . but just a minor matter.
    Doesn’t Aurora have a decaying underground cable feeding that area?

    “Forget those rotten poles for a few months boys. We might have another priority area of public perception to focus on.”

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    Aurora: We’ll wait till the construction company locates it when they’re preparing the founds. Saves us finding it and digging – we’re modern and efficient, see.

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