Wellington hotel, convention centre moves to new site

Hilton’s proposed hotel and convention centre will now be built on the Interisland Wharf adjacent to Wellington Railway Station, developer Mark Dunajtschik says.

The Wellington City Council has agreed to the move, which Mr Dunajtschik and Hilton say they believe is superior to the original Cable St site opposite Te Papa Museum.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she supports the proposed shift to the Centreport-owned site.

“It is a fantastic spot for the hotel and convention centre, especially, in terms of the visitor experience. The idea deserves to be investigated further,” she says.

Council officers will present a report on the new proposal to councillors at the earliest opportunity in the new year.

“Given this is a significant change of plan I’ll be seeking Councillors’ agreement before we can formally enter a revised commercial agreement with the developer and Hilton.”

Wellington City Council chief executive Kevin Lavery says the details of the hotel and convention centre remain the same – a five-star hotel of some 160 rooms with a purpose-built conference facility with full-format conference hosting capacity of up to 1200 delegates and banqueting capacity for up to 1450 people.

“Mr Dunajtschik assures me the commercial nature of the proposed development is very similar to the agreement approved by Councillors in principle in July this year,” Mr Lavery says.

“He will fund the construction of the facility, and the city council will pay an annual lease for the convention centre, which will be managed by Hilton.

“The City Council would not be subject to costs higher than already negotiated and agreed with Mr Dunajtschik and Hilton.”

The size, shape and nature of the proposed new site means the developer’s architects and engineers are redesigning the facility – and that work is at an early stage.

If the new arrangements are approved by City Councillors, it is intended that resource consent would be sought later in 2015.

If the consent application is successful and not appealed then construction could start in 2016 and the hotel and convention centre opened by the end of 2017 – only a matter of months later than the original completion date.

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