Category Archives: Structural engineering

Apartment hotel proposal has FATAL Flaws : ODT offers Flimsy Poll

Updated post.
Tue, 7 Aug 2017 at 2:58 p.m.

We (Dunedin) are confronted by a poorly detailed, plonk-down apartment building proposal that we suspect is fronted by an agent for Asian developers –it would not be unusual for such a proposal to be offered on the strength of tainted money looking for safe haven in the South Pacific.

Our gullible country.
The gullible shiny pants Grow Dunedin partnership.
Our ever so gullible city council under the leadership of cull-cat Cull.

A massively over-height apartment building with a frilly hard-to-read podium base is proposed —a building that may never see a five star hotel as the anchor tenant (never believe unquantified/unqualified pitches from used car salesmen, if all they offer is a Price plucked from the air).

Not so long ago large tracts of New Zealand land were bought and sold for glass beads and muskets.

A lot can happen between resource consent being granted and a deathly, failing, improperly costed build.

Is Dunedin City Council about to find out.

Beware the gift horse.
It turned out Dunedin disliked the hocks of the last one (41 Wharf St), ridden by a little cardigan-wearer. The local suits were paid to make the waterfront tower seem generous, rousing and necessary. Ha-haaa.

At ALL times, the Dunedin City Council MUST stay acutely awake despite its needful dependence on independent commissioners and independent professional advisors – the latter advisors, along with some council staff, appear to have greatly missed the Fact that the minimal concept plans presented for 143-193 Moray Place DO NOT provide a workable building; or a building compliant with district plan objectives, policies, rules, and anticipated environmental results ….or prevailing traffic standards.

Oh dear. ‘So much’ [$$$] for the independent advice. Yes, expensive use of expert and staff time to massage the applicant dream – to no convincing or winning effect.

Further, Dunedin City Council MUST be prepared to APPEAL the outcome of the decision-making process should it wish to AVOID being left with another expensive DEBT VEHICLE in the form of one unfinished and or leaky building …..as the collapsed companies, and dusty heels of run-away developers and construction personnel disappear back to Asian shores, far away from Lake Tekapo ….. dangerously constructed, whole or in part, as a further burden on beleaguered Ratepayers of this fair city.

“What a stupid thing to assume!” you thunder.
“How? On what grounds?”, you chide.
“Dunedin NEEDS a five star hotel!”, imperiously.

You think it’s that simple ??
You’re about to be done over, Buds.

The inference being, oh great apartment hotel supporters, that all that glistens in green-tinted glass is gold, or might be a five star hotel. Yeah right.

It never was. The gold, I mean.
The five star hotel, I mean.
A hoover-up of NZ cash to offshore parties who remain anonymous throughout planning and consenting, and construction and building operation; all supported by the errant notion of immigrant labour and (imperfect) imported materials.

You might as well ask now, How MUCH will the Dunedin economy make ($$$) on this “slap in the face” to the community owned district plan (statutory), and the (strategic) spatial and the central city plans which are publicly consulted policy directions informing the city council’s annual and long term plans.

Not much.

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During five days of evidence and submissions, one knowledgeable submitter, Mr Russell Lund – well up on construction management, hotel building costs, the visitor accommodation market and investment patterns, and the risk and liability to local authorities in consequence – carefully outlined the quandaries which for various councils around New Zealand have become money-losing Unalterable Fact.

In the original written submission for himself and Suzanne Lund (affected property owners), Mr Lund asserted:

The “assessment of effects” is hollow and of no substance. Under the Act, the assessment of effects is required to be just that, an assessment of effects on the affected properties and tenants. Incredibly, the assessment makes no attempt to examine the effects on all the affected parties.

This, of course, is echoed in independently written and voiced submissions by many opposing the application; and curiously, it is underlined in evidence given by Mr Don Anderson (planning consultant) and Mr David Compton-Moen (urban design, visual amenity consultant), for the applicant.

My own submission to hearing states:

We can’t take what is offered [from the applicant] on trust, because it is incomplete and imprecise; therefore the assessment of effects is difficult to pin down to anything concrete and remains unhelpfully superficial – this was “the work” the applicant was to table for us, we thought, to generously persuade us that moving beyond the ‘norms’ of height in this Dunedin location has measurable benefits against other sites or, through strong honest examination of design alternatives for this site.

I am open to being persuaded. It is expensive to do that persuading. However, it has to happen in other city centres in this country. For an expensive building, isn’t it worth doing the budgeting for preparation of your case – to get the result you want, which is consent to subdivide and build. These are open questions but they lie at the heart of A for architecture as the practical art and science of building economics and professional practice. Behind and in front of the commercial facades, that must have depth of delivery. […] And so I come to the white building model here [a 3D-printed solid plastic model of the proposed building, of hand-held size, put into evidence by Christchurch architect Thom Craig], and the drawings presented by the applicant. There appears to have been too much time spent on merely diagrammatic ‘entreaties’ to architectural form and texture without hacking into 3D investigation. There is not one clear drawing of the way the podium can work for the public or the ‘retailers’ or ‘exhibitors’ – or indeed the people staying at the hotel, servicing the building functions and or using vehicles on site. We get an idea ‘about it’, a not convincing one, there is too much guesswork to do. And so the commissioners’ questions have been rather intense.

****

Now, back to the points the Lunds are making. In their original submission on the application, Mr Lund says:

7. I have serious concerns about the expertise and amount of resource that has gone into assessing the feasibility of the project. In the last year, the Otago Daily Times advised the developer, Mr Tosswill of Horizon Hospitality, had indicated that the cost of the project, which was then 200 rooms and 52 apartments was $50-75M. The proposal now is for 210 rooms and 66 apartments, which is not substantially different. The car parking and front of house areas are similar to the original application. The application confirms the hotel has a gross floor area of 20,835 m2.
In my opinion this hotel will be not built for anything less than around $100M, and this casts serious doubts over the viability of the scheme.
Evidence of this is found for the building costs of the much simpler 200 room 4 star Novotel Hotel being built at Christchurch airport after a competitive tender process (and utilising an Asian fabricated structural steel structure). It is well known in the building industry that the tender costs received for that very regular and efficient 7 level hotel were $4,500-5,000 per m2. The Novotel is a filing cabinet design, that is, it is a completely regular rectangular structure which provides the most efficient floorplates and the best wall to floor ratio, ie the least amount of exterior wall enclosing the maximum possible amount of interior space. The Novotel has no balconies.
The applicant’s proposal is far less efficient, and therefore more costly per m2, as it is effectively three blocks grouped around a central core, but the blocks themselves are not rectangular, but have recesses, and there is a significant amount of extra cost with most rooms having screened “smokers” balconies, which entails effectively, 2 exterior systems, one for the rooms, and another enclosing the balconies.

8. The application confirms there are 16,136 m2 of above ground (habitable or hospitality space) and 4,687 m2 of below ground, back of house / car park space. At a cost of $2,200-2,500 per m2 for the below ground floors, and $5,500 per m2 for the above ground space, the proposal has a construction cost of over $100m, excluding land, furnishings, design marketing, et al. The total budget excluding GST will be around $130M. A feasibility study will typically have to include a development margin of at least 20 %, preferably 25 %, if any sort of lender is involved. This means the end value of the project will need to be at or over $160M. If the best case scenario is adopted and Mr Tosswill is able to convince Chinese or other overseas investors to pay the current market value in Queenstown for premium, new managed hotel rooms and apartments of $10,000 per m2 – for a hotel with an unproven demand in Dunedin, it is still not enough.
Selling all the apartments and hotel rooms will yield about $90M, which is a long, long way from the $160M end value needed. The parking and lower public floor spaces on a yield basis will have a value of around $10M, that might get the project to $100M. Mr Tosswill in earlier reports stated that the value was around $90M, so while there is broad agreement on the likely end value, the estimate of the cost is not close to reality. Mr Tosswill may be planning to bring in a Chinese construction company who will park a retired cruise ship at the waterfront for the duration of the project and have their workers stay there, but they will be subject to the same minimum wage laws, working conditions and health and safety requirements that local companies face, which will dramatically reduce any cost benefit from using overseas labour. (The idea of having a cruise ship accommodating Chinese workers is not fanciful – the Chinese government offered to repair the damaged sections of SH1 after last year’s Kaikoura earthquake using that same method, and did not require any New Zealand labour resources, but the Government decided that this was politically unacceptable). One hopes it would be also unacceptable to have a Council endorsed project built using essentially, forced labour.

9. There is sufficient doubt around the financial viability of the project that the applicant should provide some evidence that the entire scheme is not in fact fanciful, but makes economic sense, and provide details about the proposed ownership model, which is highly relevant to Council, in light of their liability which is discussed below.

10. Mr Tosswill may think he is able to make savings from current building costs by utilising Chinese products, but many Local Authorities around New Zealand are very wary of various untested products as there have been many failures for which Local Authorities ultimately end up bearing the cost of.
This raises another issue which is the massive liability that the building control division of the Dunedin City Council will be exposed to, in relation to its building consent approval and compliance monitoring. The experience of the QLDC in recent years is extremely relevant : A large number of hotel and apartments have been built in Queenstown and the individual hotel rooms and apartments are sold off individually. A body corporate is then responsible for repairs and maintenance. The developer has no long term or permanent stake in the completed structure, and therefore no incentive to specify materials and pay for quality standards with the long term in mind. As Warren Buffet has said, “show me the incentive and I will show you the result”, and the result for QLDC has been an ongoing series of legal actions brought by Body Corporates against Council, alleging that Council was at fault in some form, and as they are the “last man standing”, the Council have inevitably had to pay substantial figures. [I have] experience of several of these, having repaired one major complex in Queenstown at a cost of several million dollars, and provided cost evidence in regard to two others, also in Queenstown in the last year. It should be remembered that QLDC has a 7 metre height limit, but despite this, on complexes less than a quarter of the size of the proposed hotels, the cost to repair has run to millions. QLDC has advised this year in the Otago Daily Times that it has now completely drained its reserve fund for remedial building work, and any further costs will need to come directly from ratepayers. It has spent $3.6M just on legal fees for remedial building liability cases, which will rise to close to $4M by the end of this year.

11. At the Hearing, in submission, some proposals will be presented to show how the design liability and weathertightness risk to Council and ratepayers can be mitigated in the unlikely event that the proposal is given consent and such consent is upheld in the Environment Court.

Proposal 1 : A bond be posted with Council to cover sufficient funds to get the building to completed weathertight envelope and have the podium and all external works completed in the event the project is halted.

Proposal 2 : The applicant provide a Owners Protective Professional Indemnity, and have DCC named as an insured party on the policy. This is to protect indemnify the DCC against any claims brought against them in relation the building consent process, compliance monitoring or any matter for which they are liable for.

****

The applicant tabled NEW evidence at the hearing, from Infometrics. At its website, Infometrics (NZ) says it “provides industry, regional, and general economic analysis and forecasts that assist organisations in making their planning, policy, and strategic decisions”.

In the Lunds’ submission to hearing under the subheading ‘Dunedin Hotel Economic Impacts – Ongoing GDP Effects’, Mr Lund says:

….Infometrics assume that the 64 apartments will all be in the hotel pool, but acknowledge this is unclear. This significantly increases the GDP contribution as it raises the income of the hotel by around 40%, assuming conservative tariff rates of $250 per night and $350 per night per apartment. Infometrics also assume that there will be no “crowding out” of the existing activity, ie ALL guests would otherwise have not come to Dunedin had this hotel not been there. This is an unrealistic assumption.
In my opinion this report is an example of tailoring assumptions to achieve the desired outcome.
At Section 2, the “impact” of the construction phase is estimated at $45.6M in total, but based on the “key assumption” that there is capacity in the construction sector to build the hotel without crowding out other investment”. This appears to mean that if other projects are delayed, there is in fact no benefit at all because $63M of other projects will simply be displaced by the alleged $63M cost of this project. History shows that in Dunedin, Clients such as the DCC, University and some private clients keep a close eye on the state of the market. Many Ministry of Education projects have strict cost guidelines, and will not proceed if they are over budget. There have been examples of work deferred in Dunedin when the market is busy, and the Post Office Hotel is one of them. The Owner Mr Geoff Thompson, deferred the construction of the hotel for several years when he first owned the property citing the overheated construction market, due to the construction of the $220M Milton Prison project in 2005-2007.
At the present time, there is a high level of commercial construction activity at present, witnessed by the fact that there are main contractors from outside Dunedin performing the 2 largest projects in Dunedin (The Dental School and the University Science 3 project). There is every likelihood some projects will be delayed due to the high level of activity.
The report assumes that 21.1M of the $63M, or a third of the cost, will flow into the local Dunedin economy. This would be on the basis that local companies and suppliers are employed, but this is far from clear, given the estimated cost of $63M. The only way the cost could be anywhere near this level is if virtually all of the materials were low cost imports, and quite likely a proportion of the labour cost component.
The only significant material that will be made locally is concrete, and it is only the basement levels that will be predominantly a concrete structure. If out of region companies were employed for work to do such trades as painting and carpentry, as they were at the Forsyth Barr stadium, then that figure will not be accurate.
Infometrics then ascribe $16.1M to the “second round of economic effects” but acknowledge there is some “leakage of spending outside the city”. If an outside main contractor, or even an overseas contractor completes the work, they will very likely bring with them their out of town networks of subcontractors and suppliers and there will be much less than the $16.1M as the second round of effects. Having completed many projects out of Dunedin, I have first hand knowledge of the negligible economic effect of construction on the region concerned. Generally, goods and services are sourced from habitual suppliers with whom there is an ongoing relationship, and only the small consumables are sourced from local suppliers.
Mr Tosswill should clarify what the intention is regarding the construction of the hotel, and if that is not forthcoming, then he should at least confirm what type and form of construction contract will be used as that perhaps more than anything will determine whether there is the possibility of a meaningful local business component.

On ‘Construction Cost’, Mr Lund refers the commissioners to the Lunds’ original submission, continuing with:

Further facts about construction
Examples of risk from imported products
FCC (Fletcher) budgeted to use Chinese sourced bathrooms in the Novotel Christchurch projects. Did not work. Has cost FCC $2M extra (unbudgeted) to get prefab bathrooms built locally in Canterbury. The cost is $26,000 per bathroom.
Chinese steel : there are 2 major CBD projects underway in Christchurch that are steel structures using Chinese fabricated steel. On one project the steel is 12 weeks late and on the other it is 16 weeks late. The Chinese suppliers had committed to make the steel, then out-sourced it to another firm without advising the contractor, and the delays have resulted. On one of these projects there is now legal action between the Engineer and contractor because of the nature of the steel does not conform to the specification.
There is a further major dispute litigation on another major project now completed due to extreme delays with the steelwork and external cladding. The project was around 10 months late, and the Owner lost the anchor tenant (The Government) due to the delay. That project was tendered on the basis of using a large degree of imported materials from China in association with a large state run Chinese construction company, but the project was so disastrous (financially and in terms of market perception), involving a loss of 8-15M on a $50M project, it has caused the company to withdraw from large scale commercial construction and focus on project management.
External Cladding : There are only a very small number of NZ firms with the capability to design and build the curtain walling, and they have a huge backlog and extremely onerous business terms that will not be acceptable to any funder or main contractor, so the Owner will probably need to contract with them direct, and take on this risk.

These important matters aside, the legal submissions brought to hearing by Ms Lauren Semple (for Millenium & Copthorne Hotels) and Mr John Hardie (for Misbeary Holdings Ltd) blew the application out of the water; so did the transport evidence to hearing by Mr Andy Carr (for Millenium & Copthorne Hotels) to which Commissioner Mr Stephen Daysh responded by asking if the problems (such as summit points, swept paths, access to basement parking, onsite coach travel, and truck travel as well as loading access) pointed out by Mr Carr in his assessment of the proposed building’s perimeter road were “fatal flaws”? Yes, was the direct reply. Refer article: Traffic problems at hotel (ODT 3.8.17)

The hearing is adjourned until 17 August.

All ODT can do is offer a flimsy and inconsequential readers’ poll.
Not Based On Reality. Go ODT! LOL

█ All application documents, reports, evidence and submissions for 143-193 Moray Place – Non-complying activity – LUC-2017-48 & Sub-2017-26 at this link.

Related Posts and Comments:
● 11.7.17 “Fat” gawky Hotel and Apartment building : Questionable design even with 4 floors lopped off
● 14.5.17 RNZ reports July hearings for proposed hotel apartment building [comments by Mr Tosswill]
● 4.5.17 Submissions close 10 May : Proposed 17-storey, est. 62.5 metres-high Moray Place hotel/apartment building
● 7.4.17 Proposed hotel *height and design* —the very least of it #sellingoursouls
● 5.6.17 Application lodged for FIASCO Hotel by Tosswill #DunedinWrecks
● 18.12.16 DCC set to take away CBD car parks without Economic Impact research
● 15.10.16 Battle of the hotels : DCC meat in the sandwich (unedifying)
● 5.10.16 Dunedin bauble #votecatcher
● 4.10.16 The Demon Duck freak show of partial ‘Civic’ information! Before voting closes! #Dunedin
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?
25.3.14 Hotel We LIKE: Distinction Dunedin Hotel at former CPO

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

█ The following images are taken from Appendix 6 – Consultant Urban Designer’s Report – Appendix plans (PDF, 1.5 MB).

They comprise
● 2 cross sections – originally provided as applicant evidence by Thom Craig Architects Ltd, and
● 7 photomontages of anticipated views – originally provided as applicant evidence by Paterson Pitts Group (surveying, planning, engineering)

– to which new height levels have been added in the evidence provided by independent Urban Design consultant Garth Falconer for Dunedin City Council.

[click to enlarge]








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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Events, Finance, Heritage, Hot air, Hotel, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Technology, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

DCC makes no direct return from rugby or events held at Fubar Stadium

L A S T ● M O N T H ’S ● P R O N O U N C E M E N T ● F R O M ● A B O V E

ODT 20.6.17 (page 6)

ODT 26.6.17 (page 8)

Trevor Lloyd: Defeat of British rugby by the All Blacks in 1905 [pinimg.com]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

6 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Baloney, Business, Concerts, Construction, DCC, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Education, Events, Finance, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Public interest, Sport, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Travesty, What stadium

“Fat” gawky Hotel and Apartment building : Questionable design even with 4 floors lopped off

What environmental considerations, Mr Page?

More than minor.

[Everyone will remember the learned Mr Page from the Betterways hotel and apartment building application for 41 Wharf St at the waterfront, not so long ago.]

Mr Bryce (independent planner): …a “key concern” for submitters…the building would block sun from reaching the Regent Theatre and surrounds from 3pm at winter solstice. “At this time of year, the proposal will effectively remove all remaining access to sunlight received over [the] southern end of the western side of the Octagon.” (ODT)

Mr Page (the developer’s ‘Brief’): The “potential shading effect” was acknowledged, but Mr Page was confident the hotel’s benefits “will far outweigh” those concerns. (ODT)

Mr Page, again : The hotel’s “tall, slender built form” minimised the impact on those living closest to the hotel project site… (ODT)

Good heavens.

Source: Application documents

At Facebook:

### ODT Online Tue, 11 July 2017
Hotel developer still confident
By Chris Morris
Dunedin’s latest five-star hotel bid will “not be viable” if the developer is forced to reduce the building’s height, it has been claimed. But the man behind the project, Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill, remains confident the hearings panel set to decide the project’s fate can yet be swayed by the hotel’s benefits. The comments came from Phil Page, the lawyer acting for Mr Tosswill, days after the public release of an independent planner’s report running the ruler over the hotel proposal.
The report by Nigel Bryce concluded consent be declined unless Mr Tosswill agreed to a “substantial reduction” in the building’s height, by four storeys, to bring it down from 60m to 45.5m.
Read more

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Resource Consent Application LUC 2017-48 and SUB 2017-26, 143 – 193 Moray Place, Dunedin (Proposed Hotel)

The hearing will be held on Mon 31 Jul, Tue 1 Aug, Wed 2 Aug, Thu 3 Aug and Fri 4 Aug 2017 in the Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers (off the Octagon). The hearing will commence at 9.30 am each day.

Consultant Planner’s Section 42a Report (PDF, 4.3 MB)

[excerpt]

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATION
[5] For the reasons set out in paragraphs 72 to 334 below, I consider that the Proposal in its current form, will not promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources in accordance with Part 2 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA or the Act).
[6] The Development promotes a contemporary design, which is considered acceptable within this setting and articulates sufficient design interest and modulation through the facades and its pinwheel like form expressed in the tower component of the building. The building’s design incorporates a base building or podium, which allows the structure to have an active street frontage to Moray Place and Filleul Street, which is considered a positive design response.
[7] The Development will be ‘juxtaposed’ against a backdrop of the heritage buildings located to the east of Moray Place, including the Town Hall and St Paul’s Cathedral when viewed from the west and St Paul’s Cathedral and the Municipal Chambers when viewed from the south (including from the Octagon).
[8] The building’s overall height is considered to generate an over-dominance on properties to the north and west of the Site, and will have more than minor adverse effects on the amenity values of residential properties to the west of the Site. This is largely due to the significant change in scale introduced by the Development and the lower scale built environment that currently exists to the west and north of the development site, comprising predominantly two to three storeys in height.
[9] The Development will adversely impact upon the townscape values of the TH02 Octagon townscape precinct under the Operative Dunedin City District Plan (Operative Plan), including loss of sunlight penetration into the Octagon during the Winter Solstice and will adversely impact upon the setting and pre-eminence of existing heritage buildings such as the St Paul’s Cathedral and the Municipal Chambers building when viewed from the Octagon.
[10] The Development is considered to result in more than minor visual amenity and shading effects on Kingsgate Hotel to the south of the Site. The Kingsgate Hotel will experience prolonged and more sustained loss of light over a wider part of the property and associated buildings over the critical morning period during the Equinox and Winter Solstice periods (or collectively over ¾ of the year). This conclusion has been reached having regard to the potential for the Site to be developed up to a maximum height of 11 metres with a building erected against all boundaries (the ‘controlled activity building outline’).
[11] For the scale of the building to be mitigated to an acceptable level, and to maintain and enhance the amenity values of the City Centre and wider environs, Council’s urban design consultant, Mr [Garth] Falconer recommends reducing the proposed building height by four levels to bring the total height down to nine storeys (Level 13, +157,500 (datum level) on Drawing Section AA). This reduction would provide for a maximum height of 45.6 metres from existing ground level, or a maximum height breach of 34.4 metres (including the lift shaft). This mitigation response would not remove any of the 210 visitor accommodation rooms (hotel rooms), and would maintain supporting facilities including licensed premises, retail, conference, meeting facilities and on-site amenities, parking, and servicing areas. I note, for completeness, that the Applicant is not currently proposing to reduce the height of the Development.
[12] In its current form, it is my recommendation that the proposal should be declined.

More about Garth Falconer, DCC’s consulting urban designer:
LinkedIn profile: https://nz.linkedin.com/in/garth-falconer-a0699bb3
Owner and Director, Reset Urban Design Ltd: http://reseturban.co.nz/

Take a glimpse of the ‘urban form’ at Takapuna, North Shore Auckland (his home turf), to know Mr Falconer is likely missing any handle on building height for a heritage city like Dunedin.

****

Agenda and all documents including Submissions at:

http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/notified-resource-consents/notified-applications-pending/luc-2017-48-and-sub-2017-26

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At Facebook [see comments]:

### ODT Online Sat, 8 Jul 2017
Reject hotel bid: planner
By Chris Morris
A planner has recommended rejecting Dunedin’s latest five-star hotel bid, unless the developer agrees to a “substantial reduction” in the building’s height. The recommendation to decline consent came in a report by independent consultant Nigel Bryce, made public yesterday, ahead of the public hearing beginning on July 31. In his report to the panel of independent commissioners, Mr Bryce said the hotel development would “visually dominate” its surroundings, including the town hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Municipal Chambers. It would be the tallest building in the central city and would cast a shadow over the Octagon, as well as the nearby Kingsgate Hotel, during winter. Together with other impacts, the development was considered to be “non-complying” under the city’s district plan rules. It would only be acceptable if the building was reduced by four storeys, lowering its overall height from 60m to 45.6m, which was still well above the existing 11m height limit for the site, his report said.
Read more

[initial coverage]
7.7.17 ODT: Decline hotel consent: report

### ODT Online Wed, 28 Jun 2017
Two from North Island on hotel hearings panel
By Chris Morris
The panel to decide the fate of Dunedin’s latest five-star hotel bid features one familiar face and two from the North Island. Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill’s bid to build a 17-storey hotel and apartment tower in Dunedin would be considered over five days, beginning on July 31, it was confirmed yesterday. […] The panel of three would be headed by chairman Andrew Noone, now an Otago regional councillor, acting in his role as an independent commissioner. […] Alongside him will be fellow independent commissioners Stephen Daysh, of Napier, and Gavin Lister, of Auckland.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
● 14.5.17 RNZ reports July hearings for proposed hotel apartment building [comments by Mr Tosswill]
● 4.5.17 Submissions close 10 May : Proposed 17-storey, est. 62.5 metres-high Moray Place hotel/apartment building
● 7.4.17 Proposed hotel *height and design* —the very least of it #sellingoursouls
● 5.6.17 Application lodged for FIASCO Hotel by Tosswill #DunedinWrecks
● 18.12.16 DCC set to take away CBD car parks without Economic Impact research
● 15.10.16 Battle of the hotels : DCC meat in the sandwich (unedifying)
● 5.10.16 Dunedin bauble #votecatcher
● 4.10.16 The Demon Duck freak show of partial ‘Civic’ information! Before voting closes! #Dunedin
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?
25.3.14 Hotel We LIKE: Distinction Dunedin Hotel at former CPO

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

Source: Application documents

15 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Enterprise Dunedin, Finance, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Hotel, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, Otago Polytechnic, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Pools, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

123 Vogel St, an action about council process?

123 Vogel St before external building changes [Google Street View]

At Facebook:

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Where to start. Here we have an award winning redevelopment of a substantial old warehouse for new commercial use. Reading the Otago Daily Times today we learn a local businessman questions council process on consenting grounds – apparently, there was an ‘administrative error’ with a set(s) of drawings, and a condition of the resource consent issued for 123 Vogel St was neither correctly tracked or enforced.

Rightly, the businessman doesn’t wish to litigate the matter through the newspaper.

The building owner to his credit has made a large and worthy investment in the building structure and its upgrade for commercial occupancy, revitalising a large segment of the block running between Vogel and Cumberland streets.

Why then would an ungenerous attack by one party not closely involved in the proposed warehouse precinct, be lobbed at this one building owner in such negative and disastrous fashion.

What is at stake. More importantly, what does bringing the action do to enhance the historic built environment, commercial property development, and council processes – if ad hocism (planning rules enforced here, and not there?) is argued as ‘state of play’. Is there any good in an Environment Court challenge – is it ‘vexatious’.

Impartiality, transparency, technical proficiency and fairmindedness is the hoped-for collective quality to be seen in any council operation, particularly in regards to planning matters. How far can ‘the managers’ of the District Plan, a community owned living document, seek room to breathe —or indeed, treat every resource consent application on its individual merits ….for positive precinct and in-zone outcomes, for the avoidance of new (adverse) precedents or laxity of interpretation where the rules go swimming. Where does the line bite.

In practical terms we read that what was built (window-wise at second floor level) does not accord with what was granted by resource consent.

We see minorly dropped sills (pretty? hmm) and a small extra pane of glass added for greater daylighting and liveability, done in such a way that the original scale and depth of the windows remains readable. The intervention isn’t screaming. It is very quiet, and reasonable? Why then did someone fudge the option to be consented. Who did not enforce the agreed design solution? Were affected parties given all proper information as the application processed to decision? Does the error set a precedent for destruction of protected facades and heritage townscape? This most certainly can be argued and tested generally and legally – but probably not with 123 Vogel St hauled to centre stage, pointing up administrative error or wilful and confused intention at DCC if that could be shown…. The second generation district plan public consultation process is perhaps the best place to locate the discussion. Not here, unless there is something else forming the agenda for the current challenge.

Recently, there has been another example of ‘sill dropping’ in the precinct (TH13) at the corner of Rattray and Cumberland Sts. Most people – heritage advocates included – would view the degree of change to sill height as rather subtle in the context of the overall historic heritage ‘Save’. But these details niggle aesthetes and the conscientious.

Is the effect (of design subtleties – a broad tradition….) to cumulatively – with more than minor effect – destroy ‘old’ townscape in the Vogel Street Heritage Precinct, other heritage and townscape precincts, and more widely across the central city —the ‘sense of place’ (held by ‘original’ built fabric) that District Plan policy and rules are designed to constrain, curbing overt changes to external building appearance?

How on earth did this happen at the council? Perhaps the challenge and subsequent ruling (win or lose) will ensure that all comers receive the same level of service in the adminstration of consents and conditions, and the intent of District Plan rules is more strictly adhered to by council planners.

Everyone is entitled to their day in court. The other hope is that DCC is meeting all of Mr Barnes’ legal costs.

If that was the fight advertised on page 1 today.

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OPTION ONE STAYED IN THE CONSENT DECISION …. Option one would have had a new sash and two panes of glass, instead of what was built.

### ODT Online Tue, 20 Jun 2017
Building owner baffled over court action
By David Loughrey
The owner of an award-winning Dunedin warehouse precinct building has been called to face the Environment Court in a case he described yesterday as “vexatious”. The court action calls on 123 Vogel St owner Chris Barnes to remove windows on the second floor and replace them with a design applicant Dunedin businessman John Evans says should have been built under the building’s resource consent. Court documents from Mr Barnes’ counsel describe the action as “utterly baffling”. Mr Barnes has questioned the intentions of Mr Evans, and the court documents ask who Mr Evans is representing, and whether he is “receiving funds from a third party”. Some people involved would not speak on the record but one claimed property interests in “the big end of town” were behind what they saw as an attack on the precinct. […] Mr Evans’ application referred to a condition in the resource consent.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
19.6.17 Vogel Street parking on a quiet Sunday afternoon #petroltheft
1.6.17 Oh noes! One adverse slip of the pen and it’s Over Rover #warehouseprecinct
3.2.17 MORE DCC bull dust and poor investment #Sammy’s
18.12.16 DCC set to take away CBD car parks without Economic Impact research
9.10.16 Vogel Street Party 2016 #randoms
3.10.16 Vogel Street Party 2016 #Dunedin
10.4.16 spilt milk, tears, Unnecessary
23.1.16 Zoning issues: Vogel Street activities
16.12.15 DCC: Restriction of Vehicles from Parts of Jetty Street DECLARED
18.11.15 SAVE Sammy’s (former His Majesty’s Theatre & Agricultural Hall)
24.10.15 DCC and the AWFUL 2GP ‘threat of THREATS’
7.10.15 Vogel Street Party —Sat, 10 October
17.3.15 Dunedin Heritage Re-use Awards
13.3.15 Making heritage work | Dunedin New Zealand
28.10.14 Dunedin’s “period architecture”, not so quaintly….
19.10.14 Dunedin: Randoms from inside warehouse precinct 18.10.14
15.10.14 Vogel St. Street Party | Saturday 18 Oct 3pm – 11pm [2014]
5.8.14 DCC staff-led CBD projects that impact ratepayers | consolidated council debt
22.6.14 Vogel Street Heritage Precinct (TH13)
13.7.13 Cities: Organic renewal3.3.11 Dunedin can provide vacant buildings, warehouses and offices #eqnz
8.3.13 Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC
31.10.12 Cull’s council takes business away from retailers
21.2.11 Dunedin Heritage: Central government should be contributing
19.2.11 Dunedin, are you ‘of a mind’ to protect Historic Heritage?
19.2.11 Reed Building, 75 Crawford Street for demolition?
7.4.10 DScene alerts commercial building owners to responsibilities
24.3.10 DScene features heritage/issues!

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Town planning, Urban design

RNZ Morning Report: Damning indictment of Aurora Energy #Listen

Aurora Energy has not maintained the lines utility because for years the company passed over lines profits in the form of dividends to DCC and subvention payments to cover Stadium debt servicing. Central Otago power users faced silly-huge increases in their lines charges. Otago power users, generally, having already paid for upgrades and renewals through their lines charges, have regrettably lost their safe and secure supply of electricity, and must now pay twice. The people responsible for this critical state of affairs need to explain and face the consequences.

How does this stack up for the Commerce Commission, the industry regulator ?

### rnz.co.nz Mon 12 Jun 2017
Morning Report with Guyon Espiner and Susie Ferguson
8:47 AM Many electric lines companies have outdated equipment -ComCom Link
A report by the Commerce Commission says many electric lines companies have outdated equipment that should have been replaced years ago. Our reporter Eric Frykberg has been looking into it.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (3′29″)

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Commerce Commission New Zealand
Media Release 9 June 2017

The Commerce Commission has published one-page summaries of key performance measures for each of New Zealand’s 29 electricity lines companies.
The summaries are designed to promote a better understanding of each lines company’s performance by providing high-level statistics such as profitability, capital and operating expenditure, asset condition, revenue and network reliability.
Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said that the Commission has pulled together the data to make it easily accessible for industry, Government agencies and consumers, and to enable comparison across lines companies. The statistics are sourced from more detailed public disclosures.
“Electricity companies reach every New Zealand household and business so over time we want to make it easier for consumers to understand how their own lines company is performing year-on-year. The information in the summaries is still quite technical in nature, but we expect this kind of exposure will in itself help improve lines companies’ overall performance,” Dr Gale said.
“The summaries are a high-level snapshot of the lines companies and are not intended to represent a thoroughly detailed picture of performance. However, they suggest some differences between the performances of different lines companies, such as the health of assets including poles, lines and substation equipment. In cases of apparent poor performance, we will follow up with the companies to better understand their circumstances. We will also undertake further analysis in the future.”
The performance summaries are available on the Commission’s website.

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Performance summaries for electricity distributors
Under Part 4 of the Commerce Act these 29 electricity distributors are required to publicly disclose information to help people better understand how the sector is performing.

Click areas on the [interactive map at the ComCom website] to download the distributors’ 2016 performance summaries.

[screenshot only]

The performance summaries provide high level statistics on each lines companies’ performance, including measures such as profitability, capital and operating expenditure, asset condition, line charge revenue and network reliability.

See more details in the documents below.
← Back to Performance analysis and data for distributors

Documents
Explanatory notes for electricity distributors’ performance summaries – May 2017
(PDF, 464 KB) Published on 31 May 2017

Total electricity distribution 2016 – June 2017
(PDF, 488 KB) Published on 06 June 2017

Performance summaries for electricity distributors – May 2017
(MS Excel Spreadsheet, 2.1 MB) Published on 31 May 2017

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[screenshot, details]

Aurora Energy 2016 One Page summary

█ View Online: http://www.comcom.govt.nz/assets/Downloads/Aurora-Energy-2016-one-page-summary.pdf

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, delta*, *poles*, *healey* or *dchl* in the search box at right.

Disclaimer. The site owner is not responsible for the currency or accuracy of content of contributed comments; and the inclusion of the information provided does not imply endorsement by the site owner.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

18 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Commerce Commission, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Stadiums, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design

Greater South Dunedin : Public Meeting, Monday 12 June 6.30pm

Public Meeting South Dunedin: It’s your future!
Monday 12 June 6.30pm Nations Church. Please come!

It’s almost two years since the devastating 2015 floods which hit the suburbs of Greater South Dunedin, affecting more than a thousand homes, businesses, community organisations and schools.

It is timely to hold another public meeting in order to give you a voice and to provide an opportunity for some information sharing and discussion about the priorities for our community.
We hope you will attend.

Ray Macleod, Chair
The Greater South Dunedin Action Group

Background Information:

There’s been a lot of talk about the future of Greater South Dunedin.

Some of that talk has been muddled by poor quality information collected and published around the extent and causes of the flooding on our community. Eventually the Dunedin City Council acknowledged that its lack of maintenance of the mud tanks and its lack of oversight of the performance of the Portobello Pumping Station contributed 200mm to the flooding that occurred.

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, warned earlier in 2016 that South Dunedin presented the “most troubling example” of high groundwater in the country.

The DCC and the Otago Regional Council have produced reports on the flooding and the issues facing Greater South Dunedin due to rising groundwater and the impact of climate change. Their reports are largely based on predictions and modelling assumptions.

There have been reports by GNS Science and the University of Otago’s School of Surveying of potential subsidence in South Dunedin and other parts of the city. At the time, GNS cautioned against reading too much into the subsidence data, as more work was required.

The DCC has finally announced a temporary community hub will open at Cargill Enterprises on Hillside Road mid-year.
After much public outcry, the South Dunedin Work and Income and Police station re-opened their doors.

The DCC formed a stakeholder group of organisations and government agencies, some of whom have a presence in South Dunedin, which meets every month or so.

Heavy rainfall over Easter demonstrated that the City’s civil defence preparedness and response has improved, although local people are yet to be fully informed about how they can be better prepared and understand how a civil defence emergency may affect them.

The DCC’s Second Generation Plan has held hearings into the Hazard 3 (Coastal) Overlay which covers the area bounded by Forbury Rd to the west, Victoria Road to the south, the Caversham bypass motorway to the North and Portsmouth drive to the east. This includes a provision to require new residential dwellings to be “relocatable”.

The DCC also recently announced new “minimum floor” levels for new buildings in South Dunedin of 500 mm for those not affected by the 2015 floods and 400mm above the floodwaters for those affected by the 2015 floods. This will result in some new houses having to be a metre above ground level in order to get a building consent. GIVEN THE DCC CONTRIBUTED 200MM TO THE 2015 FLOOD LEVEL THIS RAISES A QUESTION REGARDING THE NEED FOR ANY MINIMUM FLOOR LEVEL REQUIREMENT OR A CASE BY CASE EVALUATION AS THE NEED ARISES.

If you live or work in the Greater South Dunedin area, all of these proposed changes and approaches affect you. Put together they provide a confusing picture of an important community which is receiving mixed messages about its future and doesn’t yet feel it has a strong voice and a plan.

In all of the discussions about the future of Greater South Dunedin, the people who call these suburbs (of South Dunedin, St Kilda, St Clair, Forbury, Caversham, Caledonian, Portsmouth Drive, parts of Musselburgh and Tainui) home or work are not yet part of the discussions.

You may have attended a public meeting after the floods which resulted in the formation of the Greater South Dunedin Action Group. We consider you to be an important part of this group as it aims to:

• Facilitating effective communication between the community and the city and regional councils
• Advocating, representing and promoting the present and future interests of the community
• Ensuring the area is well serviced by Council in terms of social and infrastructure services as a foundation for a vibrant community
• Exploring the opportunities for the area including inner city redevelopment, renewal, and support for new job opportunities & enterprise
• Developing a sustainable plan for the future of the Greater South Dunedin area and its community

[ends]

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Greater South Dunedin Action Group

Public Meeting
6:30pm Monday 12 June 2017
Nations Church
334 King Edward Street South Dunedin

Agenda
Meeting Chair: Hon Stan Rodger

1. Welcome: Hon Stan Rodger

2. Apologies

3. Dunedin City Council & Otago Regional Council on what has been achieved over the past two years. Response to questions submitted to DCC copies are which will be circulated to the meeting. (15 Minutes)

4. Dr Simon Cox: A geoscientist’s perspective on the problem at hand.
(15 minutes)

5. Mr Geoff Thomas: Property Council of NZ. Impact on property values.
(10 minutes)

6. Questions from the floor (if wishing to ask questions please try to write these down and direct them through the Hon Stan Rodger).

7. Proposed resolutions:
a) That the meeting provide a mandate to the Greater South Dunedin Action Group to act as an advocate for the community interests.
b) That the DCC are requested to provide an initial engineering plan and response by 1 December 2017 with the intention of providing protection and support to people, homes and businesses in the Greater South Dunedin area.
c) The DCC be requested to commence the establishment of a community board to represent the interests of the Greater South Dunedin Community.

8. Any other business.

9. A wrap up and thank you from the Chair of the Greater South Dunedin Action Group. (5 minutes)

10. Final words from the Hon Stan Rodger.

█ Download: SDAG Public Meeting Agenda (DOCX, 25 KB)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

24 Comments

Filed under Business, Climate change, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Housing, Infrastructure, New Zealand, People, Politics, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, South Dunedin, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

Cadbury Site: Continue with Manufacturing and a Themed Hotel

### ODT Online Wed, 7 Jun 2017
$20m plan to save factory
By Eileen Goodwin
A bid to save the Cadbury factory in Dunedin is being unveiled today. Jim O’Malley, a Dunedin city councillor, is trying to raise $20 million to keep the factory open on a portion of the site. Mr O’Malley is working in a personal capacity; the Dunedin City Council is not involved in the bid. Mr O’Malley’s plan is to run a public share offer aimed at the general public as well as business. Before launching any share offer, Mr O’Malley has organised a two-week pledge period to gauge interest, starting today. […] Shares in Dunedin Manufacturing Holdings (DMH) would be priced at $50 if the offer goes ahead. A website has been launched – www.ownthefactory.co.nz – to register pledges. […] The plant would make the full range of New Zealand favourites, such as Jaffas and Pineapple Lumps, under licence for Mondelez International. […] Mr O’Malley’s plan differs from that of other parties because it involves acquiring part of the site and the equipment, rather than just agreeing to produce the goods.
Read more

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### ODT Online Wed, 7 Jun 2017
Themed hotel still possible: Lund
By Chris Morris
A chocolate-themed hotel could still be built at Dunedin’s Cadbury factory site, even if its backers have to share the space, a Dunedin businessman and city councillor says. The comment came yesterday from Russell Lund, one of those pushing the hotel concept, before news broke yesterday of Cr Jim O’Malley’s bid to save the factory operation, condensed on to a smaller part of the site. […] Mr Lund said the idea of sharing the site was “interesting” and not one that would necessarily kill the hotel concept. The Cadbury factory was on a “massive” site, meaning there was potentially room for a mixture of uses, including a hotel on upper floors alongside a dairy processing plant on the ground floor, he said. But before options could be considered, more detail was needed from Mondelez, he said. […] He expected to hear from Mondelez by the end of next month, but in the meantime, he would discuss the hotel concept with a group of Chinese investors due to visit Dunedin later this month.
Read more

[click to enlarge]
280 Cumberland St, Dunedin 9016 via Google Earth

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When it comes to hotel design, Dunedin can learn from Hobart, writes businessman Russell Lund.

### ODT Online Mon, 8 May 2017
Hotel design: back to the future is where it’s at
By Russell Lund
OPINION The proposed Filleul St, Dunedin, hotel is a remnant of outmoded thinking. Nothing ever remains the same, and the winds of change are sweeping through the accommodation industry. I recently spent time in Hobart to see how it had been able to develop many of its waterfront heritage buildings into viable economic propositions, and received some valuable insights. Hobart now has a population in excess of 200,000, but it was and still is a regional city in economic decline, isolated from Australia’s major centres. Like Dunedin, it has the lowest average household income of any major Australian city, and sees a bright future in tourism based on its built heritage, natural environment and outstanding regional food and wine products. The accompanying photographs show the two hotels rated by TripAdvisor as the best and second best (of 46) hotels in Hobart. The Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart is a rectilinear 4.5-star human filing cabinet that is described on TripAdvisor as an architectural scar on the Hobart cityscape. Its level of discernible architectural merit is of a similar standard to the proposed Filleul St hotel which is to say, none at all. Despite its brutal urban demeanor, The Hotel Grand Chancellor is a busy hotel. Its 244 rooms run at an impressive 93% occupancy, but you can hire a room there at any time for less than $A200 ($NZ215). However, the modest Henry Jones Art Hotel nearby, with 52 5-star rooms, a former jam factory, knocks the Grand Chancellor for a revenue six. It also runs at 90%. occupancy, but its average tariff is about double the Grand Chancellor’s, at $A350-$A500 per night. The Henry Jones is able to charge this premium because the property is unique, even in a city renowned for its building heritage.
Read more

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### ODT Online Wed, 17 May 2017
Cadbury expands Hobart factory
Mondelez International is investing $A4 million in Hobart’s Cadbury chocolate factory while pushing ahead with plans to close its Dunedin production line. The food giant announced today the money would buy new equipment to produce two new lines at the Claremont plant, while the southern New Zealand site is due to close in 2018.
Read more

█ For more, enter the term *cadbury* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

57 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, COC (Otago), Construction, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Heritage, Hotel, Infrastructure, Innovation, Inspiration, Leading edge, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium