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Tutukaka Hotel to be Replaced by $20mil Complex

$20 million hotel/apartment complex to replace legendary Tutukaka Hotel

A $20 million luxury hotel/apartment complex is to be built on the site where the legendary Tutukaka Hotel on Northland's east coast was destroyed by fire two years ago.

Affectionately known as "Toots", the former hotel was a favourite drinking and party spot for fishermen, divers, weekenders and the yachties who took refuge at Tutukaka's sheltered marina. The hotel was virtually burned to the ground on Anniversary Day 2000 and now plans have been finalised for a replacement facility.

Ocean's Gateway Resort, which is being developed by Albany-based Jadco Investments, is a $20 million three-storey complex that will include a luxury hotel, retail units, 35 managed apartments, a licensed restaurant and bar, a swimming pool and various other facilities. The complex will be an all-concrete structure covering about 9000 sq m.

Resource consent has been granted and construction is due to commence in April/May, 2003.

Twenty minutes from Whangarei, Tutukaka is situated on coastline featuring superb beaches and spectacular ocean views. It offers world class diving at the nearby Poor Knights and two high-profile shipwrecks. It is popular for yachting and fishing and is a renowned deep sea fishing base.

The complex would cater for large groups of visitors and the divers who frequent the Tutukaka Coast who would be able to stay at Tutukaka. As the area currently has no large conference facility or hotel, many visitors are forced to stay in Whangarei.

"Ocean's Gateway will also be great for business people," John Hamilton, Jadco's director said. "They can come up to Whangarei, conduct their business in the city, then stay at Tutukaka. There's a permanent holiday atmosphere there, so they can really wind down and relax."

The retail area of the new complex is likely to include a café and bakery, a booking office for local tours that will also sell crafts and gifts, and a furniture and giftware store with a nautical theme. A superette and service station are also proposed.

The hotel will be designed to accommodate overseas tourists plus conferences. A hotel operator has not yet been appointed.

A seafood style restaurant will adjoin a conference area, both of which will overlook the marina and open up to create one large area.

The apartments, priced from $330,000 to $800,000, will be fitted out to four-plus star quality. They overlook either the marina or native bush. Owners wishing to lease out their apartment when they are not in residence will have the option of using the hotel as a booking agent.

The apartments and retail units were launched for sale at Labour Weekend and, within three weeks, all the retail units had sold and several of the higher priced apartments had also been sold.

"We expected the retail space would be the slowest to sell but it is already sold out - we were overwhelmed with inquiries from the first day we started marketing," said Mr Hamilton.

The hotel would stimulate business activity in Tutukaka and provide the village with some infrastructure, including a full sewerage scheme. Jadco is working with the Whangarei District Council on the scheme, the design of which is soon to be finalised.

The project is expected to provide a number of jobs during the construction phase and, when complete, is likely to generate up to 50 full-time jobs.

The resort is aimed at being sustainable. The mix of hotel guests, apartment owners, local residents plus boating and baching holidaymakers is expected to provide a solid customer base that would support the retail services, bar and cafes.

Jadco Investments has developed several Auckland and Rodney complexes including the service station and 10-shop retail centre in Orewa's Grand Drive.


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