New hotel progress slow – but ILT committed to build

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    Site of the ILT's new hotel on the corner of Dee and Don Sts.

    The Invercargill Licensing Trust’s (ILT) plan to build a new hotel in Invercargill is slowly progressing, with architects now creating a concept design for the multi-storey complex.

    The ILT formally announced its intention to build a new hotel on the south-east corner of Don and Esk Sts in April this year, but as yet no demolition consent application had been lodged with the Invercargill City Council (ICC).

    “We are moving [forward with the plan]. It seems quietly, but we are moving,” ILT president Alan Dennis said.

    The proposed 80 to 120-room hotel would span 3000sqm from 11 Don St, the site of the former Invercargill Public Library, to Barluca on Dee St.

    The first stage of the build, with a budget of $40 million, would include 80 guest rooms, function/conference facilities, restaurant, bar, cafe and car parking. Stage two would include an additional 40 rooms when demand warranted it.

    Mr Dennis said the delay in progressing the plan had been in developing a concept plan, which was needed to be included with the demolition application.

    “The demolition application needs to have in it a close approximation of what the hotel will look like physically so the council can weigh up the pros and cons before approving it.”

    The ILT board had selected Queenstown-based Warren & Mahoney Architects to create the concept design of the hotel, he said.

    The board had met with the architects, but a second, more specific meeting was planned within the next couple of weeks to discuss the more technical requirements of the build, he said.

    Mr Dennis was unable to confirm the timeframe for when the demolition consent application would be lodged.

    “We can’t be sure the application will be in before Christmas, but we certainly hope so.”

    Mr Dennis confirmed the ILT was “totally” committed to building the hotel.

    “There is no question about that. The decision is made and it is irreversible.”

    ICC planning manager Terry Boylan said one of the buildings which would need to be demolished on the hotel site was a heritage two-listed property, but he could not confirm whether there would be any issues until they received the application.

    “We would have to look at the application put forward and the information they provide with that… but the council has granted other demolition of heritage buildings.”

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