Wharf revamp to benefit all
Developer and investor interest is being sought for the proposed development for Kaikoura’s new wharf, which will now include a backpackers hostel along with a hotel, restaurant, conference and retail precinct.
Kaikoura Wharf Developments has resource consent and concept plans and designs for the almost one hectare site ( 9422 square metres), which includes the existing Pier Hotel and fishing wharf.
The proposed four-star Wharf Hotel and conference facilities will include 84 fully furnished hotel rooms with uninterrupted sea views, situated over three levels.
Sixty-two rooms are incorporated in the core building while 22 rooms are extended along the first floor of the wharf.
Kaikoura Wharf Developments commercial project manager Stuart Chadwick said there would be an array of retail and tourism opportunities, bars, restaurants and a fish market.
‘‘If you think of Fleur’s at Moeraki, Fisherman’s Wharf at San Francisco, or Darling Harbour, then you will understand the concept.
‘‘Even though Kaikoura is synonymous with seafood, it does not have such a facility at present.’’
The privately owned Pier Apartments will comprise options from a three-bedroom unit with a large lounge, dining room and kitchen, to a one-bedroom apartment with lounge, dining and kitchen, to an individual double bedroom with en suite.
Although the initial concept was for high-end accommodation and retail, the current proposal for the Pier Hotel is to revamp and internally retrofit the hotel as a backpackers hostel, which, along with a new bunkhouse, would provide low-budget accommodation and up to 108 beds.
A cafe, bar or boutique brewery is also on the cards.
Kaikoura Mayor Winston Gray said the council was very supportive of the proposed development and he was not concerned about the impact more budget beds or cafes would have on existing businesses.
‘‘If they can make this happen it will be great,’’ he said.
‘‘The best scenario is that this will be a catalyst for more growth and investment that will bring in enough extra people to stimulate the overall market so everybody benefits.’’
Mr Gray said the proposed large hotel would allow inbound operators to look more favourably at Kaikoura as a destination because large groups of high-end visitors would be able to be accommodated in one place.
‘‘The location is outstanding. This was the hub of the town 150 years ago . . . a development on this scale will mean extra real jobs for our locals.’’
Mr Chadwick, who has been involved in similar tourism developments at Clearwater, Christchurch and Bluewater, Lake Tekapo said the project had already generated ‘‘strong interest’’ from hotel chains for the Wharf Hotel and Pier Apartments, from tourism and retail operators looking for space, to those looking to buy an apartment and other groups looking at the complex.
‘‘Considering we have not yet gone to the market for investment, it does indicate the strong interest that there is in this project.’’
Kaikoura Wharf Developments had been working on this project for several years, he said. The town was crying out for a quality hotel to move the town from a stopover to a destination.
An artist’s impressions of the proposed wharf development, which is now seeking developer and investor interest. The proposed plans now include budget and backpacker beds as well as a high-end hotel complex.