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Secret Dunedin developer unveils $100m hotel plan

Promoters fronting a “$100 million” waterfront hotel in Dunedin are refusing to identify the developer.

The plans were unveiled at a function at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium by lawyer Steve Rodgers today.

He is acting for the unidentified developers of a 28-level hotel on Dunedin’s waterfront and has lodged a resource consent application.

The guests included a who’s who of the local business community.

Forsyth Barr founder Sir Eion Edgar, who was at the function, told NBR that the developer was “incredibly substantial” but very private.

It was great news for the city, which along with the new stadium would bring in more people to Dunedin, he said.

He dismissed criticism of the funding arrangements for the stadium, including questions about the price paid for Forsyth Barr’s naming rights (“confidential”).

The stadium was a “fantastic” accomplishment and would be complemented by the planned hotel, Sir Eion said.

If you know who the "secret" developer is please contact Property Editor Chris Hutching on

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Comments and questions

Great to see investment but surely Dunedin can learn from the mess Auckland made in the 1990s and on? The views of the waterfront shut off by a fence of high-rise buildings.
Sadly, planners with more vision - promoting graduated heights moving inland from the waterfron - were ignored.

Urgently needed and this sounds very encouraging.

I am certainly not a Eion or Forbar fan, but if they are willing to throw their time and weight behind whoever is the developer to make this happen, it can only be good for Dunedin. The alternatives - the Scenic Circle Dunedin Casino and the Quality in in Stuart Street, are very average and tired.

Anyone that thinks the stadium was an "accomplishment" has lost my respect!

28 story hotel, how many room is that? At 100million you would need a return of 15million a year minimum as the landlord or hotel land lessor, forgetting about the hotel chain that needs to make a profit, far out, who is going to stay there??

Consider this, Ibis build a hotel, say 8 stories, costs them $15-$20million, they make a nice small profit on it.

I don't think the sums will add up at all.

The stadium was a fantastic achievement and definately worthwile, shame that the old NZ knocking machine minority come out against change or want to do everything on the cheap all the time, I am sure whatever private investor is behind this has done some homework to bother getting achitects etc to come up with plans

Wow! Deluded much?

How was the stadium a fantastic achievement? The fact the banks lent the council money for it? That is the only fantastical thing about it.

I don't live in Dunedin, but feel sorry for those that do and have to pay for this total folly of a stadium.

As for the Hotel. It is far to big. Scale it down to 10 stories and you may have a viable hotel/apartment combo.

Who is going to fund the apartments? Who is going to stay in the 200+ rooms. Occupancy rates in Dunedin are around NZ averages, i.e. 55%-60%. And I doubt they would be that rate for a 5 star.

My concern though is not with the project, it is privately funded. No, my concern is with the creation of a huge ridiculous building that will dominate Dunedin's skyline and shadows for decades to come. How about three 10 story buildings next to each other, so they don't destroy the city.

These fast boys come all the time. Remember the Dunedin Hilton in the Old Post Office.

Seeing is believing. I doubt Dunedin has the ability to generate enough room nights to keep occupancy in a 28 floor hotel economic but if its Chinese Hot Money bring it in!!

Reminds me of that hotel in the capital of North Korea!

Clearly the intention is to make a small fortune and they will do this..... provided they have a large one to start with.

Why all the secrecy??

You can bet your second last dollar that this will depend on investors taking up a large percentage of rooms. Use your last dollar to bet that they won't find any investors. Then invest your winnings from those bets on whether the proposed hotel development in the old CPO ever goes ahead. .Vote no and you'll be in the money again.

215 Rooms at $150/night with 90% Occ only generates a RevPar of $10.6m. You'd never fill a 5 star Dunedin hotel at that rate and get that level of occupancy.

This is completely uneconomic.

Good to see Edgar involved. He's done so well. Getting the council to buy his empty wool store for a premium and then name it after him.

Edgar won't talk about the Forsyth Barr naming rights because they were meant to be paid up front only they didn't pay for 2 years and then by monthly installments. The Council had to borrow to cover the shortfall. I have no time for moneygrubbers.

Look at the shadow! Clearly this will never happen and as an example of the architectural style known as "Auckland Eyesore" it never should.

Its an architects drawing, the "shadow" would be in the early morning only anyway due to the sun and the buildings position, and the building shown in the shadow does not actually exist currently

..and the developer remains secret because either there isn't one or because it would be too embarrassing to attach your name to this piece of poo.

i say go for it, sounds like a great idea that hotel

Go Dunedin - Chch eat your heart out

The only one that has deep enough pockets to fun this ego project isthe local council. Good luck future generations of Dunedinites that will have to pay it back.

OMG Guys!

Run a mile, sell all your property immediately. Rent and sit out the inevitable massive property speculative bubble burst that you are imminently about to experience within 18-24 months.

Educate your selfs about fundamental needs and rental yields.

Alarm bells should be ringing!