Neighbours give Shore 'love motel' cold shoulder

By Wayne Thompson

3 Parity Place, Glenfield, which will be the location of the proposed motel. Photo / Brett Phibbs
3 Parity Place, Glenfield, which will be the location of the proposed motel. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A bid to set up a North Shore version of a Brazilian "love motel" has struck trouble after neighbouring businesses withdrew offers to hire out their carparking spaces on busy nights.

Business owners decided against helping the new enterprise - after they realised the motel was for short stays, with hourly rates.

An automotive business owner near the proposed Desire Motel in Glenfield said a petition had gone round because people there ran "family-type businesses where we bring the kids down at weekend".

Off-street parking was a condition of a land use consent granted by North Shore City Council officers for the former factory, which the applicant wants to convert into the upmarket Desire Motel.

The neighbours' six spaces on top of the motel's 10 allowed it to offer all its 11 rooms on busy nights in a light industrial/service area of Parity Place.

Desire director Frederico Ronnau said last night all efforts were taken to comply with regulations and bylaws.

He was aware some neighbours were not happy with the motel's arrival.

"But they have a wrong picture of what we intend to do," he said.

A "Brazilian Motel", or what Japanese call "love hotel", catered for short stays, usually between one and three hours, and offered hourly rates.

"They cater to couples who have no privacy at home or singles requiring a rendezvous.

"It's a unique service to couples looking for a nice place to bond and spend some time together with privacy.

"These suites are all themed differently from each other and designed to create a special atmosphere to indulge the couple."

Mr Ronnau said clients could be a couple celebrating a special date, like a wedding anniversary, or just "willing to spice up their relationship".

He said the motel was not a brothel, though sex workers might use the premises, the same way as they could any motel or hotel in New Zealand.

Auto electrician Mike Barlow, a Parity Place businessman for 28 years, said there was concern the motel would draw a criminal element at night in an area which had been largely free of burglaries.

Automotive business owner John Phillis said the motel was out of place in a small street of engineering, mechanical, printing and shopfitting businesses.

"A petition has gone to the council from a few little businesses ... family- type businesses where we bring the kids down at weekend while we are working."

North Shore councillors Vivienne Keohane and Heather Brown knew nothing about the land use application until it was approved and believe it should have been first referred to members of the Glenfield Community Board and the city council.

Mrs Keohane said she understood that business owners, thinking it was a regular motel, had agreed to lend parking spaces and their change of heart meant the motel could not put all its rooms to use.

Council environmental protection team leader Warwick Robertson said the commercial area zoning meant the operation was a permitted activity whether it was a motel or a brothel.

Brazilian motel

* Common in Central and South America.
* 11 themed rooms.
* Rented by hourly rate.
* Couples or singles.
* Open 11am to 3am.

- NZ Herald

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