Land and consented building plans for a proposed hotel, retail and residential complex in central Christchurch have been placed on the market in a mortgagee sale.

The rectangular-shaped lot at 818 Colombo St comprises a flat 1019sq m site with 25m frontage onto Colombo St.

The site originally housed a 21.8m high five-storey commercial building constructed in 1989 but this was significantly damaged in the 2011 earthquake and was demolished.

Christchurch City Council granted building consent in February 2016 for the construction of a seven-level hotel, retail and apartment development on the site.

Advertisement

Now, the land and consented building plans are being jointly marketed for sale by Mike Adams of Bayleys Auckland and Justin Haley of Bayleys Canterbury, with tenders closing at 4pm on

Thursday June 14.

Adams says the council consent permits a 5.8m height extension to the Central City Mixed Use zoning plans for the area.

The building concept envisages:

• 475sq m of street-level retail space – housing shops, cafes, a reception area for the serviced apartments above, and 19 car parking spaces – some of which will be provided in a dual stacker system;
• 2336sq m of studio and one-bedroom serviced apartments above on levels 1-5; and,
• six two-storey apartments on the top two floors totalling 838sq m.
Adams says the residential units within the top two storeys of the tower are planned to be set back from the edge of the lower levels. This would not only allow for the creation of balconies and decked areas, but also address any concerns about 'shadowing' onto Colombo St.

"The consented plans show a new hotel building shaped in a horse-shoe design. It features a controlled one-way vehicular laneway running down the middle of the building, with retail tenancies on one side; while hotel reception areas, along with an apartment lift, are on the other side."

Adams says the Central City Mixed-Use zone was introduced as part of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan with the intention of providing for developments that incorporate a mix of activities.

"A development of this scale is in keeping with the intention of that plan by bringing back commercial and residential activity to the central city," he says.

"The council decided that, based on the scale of the commercial accommodation and residential use proposal, it was more appropriate for the Central City Business zoning to be approved for a 28 metre height limit that would allow for a seven-storey building.

"Assuming future developments around this location in the years to come will sit within a 17 to 28 metre height limit, this new building is likely to be consistent with its surrounding environment."

Haley says the proposed 818 Colombo St complex has been designed and configured to straddle both the business and leisure guest sectors with the new Christchurch Convention Centre being the catalyst for attracting a growing number of activities, events, exhibitions and conferences to the city for both segments of the visitor market.

"The plans for the hotel show minimal foodservice operations – literally offering cafe-styled fare. This strategy is based on the rationale that business travellers usually have business-related dinners when hosted by their local guests, while leisure travellers like to explore the city and amenities and attractions available within walking distance."

Haley says two of the city's biggest hospitality precincts would be less than a 10-minute walk away from the front door of the new hotel.

"The Oxford Terrace hub is about two-and-a-half blocks to the south while the Victoria Street hub around the casino is around 700 metres to the Northwest.

"A minimal cafe set-up would, however, still have the capacity to provide limited 'after-hours' room service dining options, which could be prepared by hotel staff. Alternatively, charge-back contracts could be easily negotiated with a number of nearby foodservice outlets to provide delivered take-away services – again minimising the need to operate a full commercial kitchen with the associated staffing costs involved."

Haley says the construction of the city's new convention centre is now well underway and scheduled for completion in late 2019; with supporting infrastructure dovetailing behind it.

"In addition to this Colombo Street hotel and apartment property, sites are also being offered for the development of a 200-bed hotel adjacent to the casino and a similar-sized property is being marketed for development adjacent to the convention centre.

"With the Colombo Street complex containing serviced studio and one-bedroom apartment, it will be a different operation to one offering rooms on a nightly basis within a branded four or five-star hotel."

Nick Thompson, Bayleys' director of hotels and tourism, says latest tourism statistics compiled by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment for a 12-month period from March 2017 to March 2018 show strong performances across Canterbury's commercial accommodation sector.

• The total number of guest nights in Canterbury rose 21.2 per cent.
• The total number of international guest nights in Canterbury rose 23.7 per cent.
• The total number of domestic guest nights in Canterbury rose 18.6 per cent.
• The overall occupancy rate in Canterbury accommodation establishments rose from 50.4 per cent to 55.5 per cent.
• Accommodation capacity in Canterbury – excluding holiday parks – rose 5.9 per cent, with two new hotels coming on line in Christchurch.
• Hotels in Christchurch had an average occupancy rate of 84.83 per cent this March with guests staying an average of 1.62 days.

Thompson says the continuing regeneration of Christchurch's central business district will attract increasing domestic travel and visitor business back to the city.

"Key to this is obviously the redevelopment of the city's convention centre – founded on building up the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions [MICE] sector which had shrivelled away to an almost non-existent presence over the past seven years," Thompson says.

"As that activity builds up again, so too will the demand for commercial accommodation. Before the earthquakes there were about 3900 three-to-five-star branded hotel rooms in Christchurch. Post the 'quakes that number plummeted to less than 1000.

"Now it's back up to an inventory of 2300 rooms, with an additional 800 planned to come on line in the next 18-months. That's still at an inventory lower than before the 'quakes so there is still plenty of capacity in the market.

"With properties like The Hotel Grand Chancellor, the All Seasons Christchurch, the Heritage Towers, the two Millennium-branded hotels, the Best Western Clyde, the Holiday Inn City Centre and the Holiday Inn on Avon all being taken out of the city's room inventory as a result of the 'quakes, there has been a hole - which this Colombo Street serviced apartment development and the two other hotel sites will help to fill," Thompson says.