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Convention Centre Master Plan on QLDC Agenda

Convention Centre Master Plan on QLDC Agenda

Investigations into the possible development of a convention centre on the Lakeview site in Queenstown will reach another milestone on Thursday when the Queenstown Lakes District Council considers a master plan and a set of principles to guide the project.

The principles include minimising the risk and cost to ratepayers, ensuring the development complements rather than competes with the businesses in downtown Queenstown, and balancing commercial development with the provision of spaces that will appeal to the local community.

“Council has not committed to building a convention centre, but it would be imprudent not to explore all options as we continue to gather all the information needed to make a decision next year,” Mayor Vanessa van Uden said.

If a convention centre is developed at Lakeview, it would have to be part of a coherent and well planned use of the whole site that would meet the needs of both locals and visitors. The Council had already heard a range of public views on all the options for the Lakeview site, Mayor van Uden said. “As well as considering those views, we need to weigh up the cost implications for ratepayers on every development option, because some of them would offer significantly lower risk and cost for the Council and ratepayers if they were to be adopted.”

The master plan put forward for Council consideration has three main elements: a convention centre and two commercial recreational operations along the frontage of Thomson Street; a mix of commercial and residential areas at the back of the old Lakeview campground; and a market square.

Ngai Tahu Tourism has already confirmed it wishes to develop a hot pools complex alongside a convention centre at Lakeview, and QLDC is discussing another recreational business opportunity with an as-yet undisclosed company.

The Council has not formally resolved to develop a convention centre but is investigating the multiple issues which will be taken into account when the issue is decided next year. These include the best mix of uses, the site’s zoning, the need for additional infrastructure, and the ownership of the land and facilities. Preliminary information on those aspects of the investigation is in the report that Councillors will consider on Thursday. A comprehensive report on financing and rating impacts for the project will be delivered next March.

In the meantime, the Council will also consider on Thursday whether to authorise Chief Executive Adam Feeley to progress negotiations with Ngai Tahu and other potential commercial developers for the site, including Sky City, and report back in February.

The report on the convention centre project is on-line as part of the agenda and reports for this Thursday’s Council meeting. Click here for the report.


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