Billion-dollar Queenstown development dubbed ‘Alpine Britomart’ a step closer to reality
Lakeview | Taumata, the stunning residential, hospitality, and retail precinct planned as an expansion to Queenstown’s CBD has taken a significant step forward with the first stages referred into the Government’s expert consenting panel for consideration under the Fast Track Consenting Act 2020 (FTCA).
Lakeview | Taumata sits on a 10-hectare elevated terrace at the edge of the CBD offering iconic views across Lake Whakatipu and the Remarkables. Once complete, the billion-dollar mixed-use development – coined by local media as ‘Alpine Britomart’ – will be one of Queenstown’s largest ever construction projects, accommodating up to 1,500 people complete with public reserves and a new plaza. It also stands to be a national exemplar of sustainability, incorporating European-inspired mass timber construction in place of concrete and steel.
The referral order is an important milestone for the project being developed by a Trans-Tasman consortium of Ninety-Four Feet, Centuria Capital (formerly Augusta Capital), and Britomart Hospitality Group, together in partnership with Queenstown Lakes District Council.
Ninety-Four Feet’s NZ General Manager, Paul Burnaby, commented: “We have put together an exciting masterplan for Lakeview and are now sharply focused on bringing the precinct to life. The fast-track referral order presents an opportunity to expedite construction, and importantly it takes us a step closer to delivering the many benefits this precinct will offer, including providing employment opportunities and flow on economic benefits, additional residential housing to help address the extreme supply shortage in Queenstown, commercial activities and public open spaces.”
The benefits, as determined by Insight Economics, include a forecast one-off boost to GDP of $930 million and an estimated 595 permanent jobs created during the construction lifecycle of the precinct, with the initial stages creating 370 jobs regionally.
Central to the heart of the project is the involvement of local iwi. Aukaha, representing local rūnaka are involved to incorporate Kāi Tahu values. Taumata (the summit) is the name given to Lakeview by mana whenua and captures many of the values of the project.
“It is through the name Taumata that we are able to acknowledge Hakitekura, a significant tipuna of importance to Kāi Tahu iwi and the Whakatipu-wai-Māori area,” said Ross Hemera, Senior Kāi Tahu Artist Designer.
Lakeview | Taumata is a world class blueprint for precincts globally, featuring exceptional architectural design drawing on local heritage, smart city concepts, and a regenerative native landscape strategy. Once complete, it will feature over 500 apartments, affordable co-living units, and three hotels. Around 50% of the Lakeview footprint will be dedicated to open spaces for the public, including a unique public podium level providing spectacular views across Lake Whakatipu and beyond.
Centuria New Zealand CEO, Mark Francis, says: “We see our investment in Lakeview as a long-term vote of confidence in Queenstown – as the jewel in the crown of New Zealand’s beloved tourism industry.
The plans as proposed for Lakeview will deliver the region an asset of a quality like never before. The EPA’s fast track process supports this development and has provided important clarity.”
“Monk Mackenzie and Architectus have, over the last three years, created a comprehensive and considered response to the challenge of adding significantly to the built fabric of Queenstown. Our project sees its role as an economic contributor and a community builder, along with providing a rich living environment, housing choices and great public spaces. This context is special, and the Lakeview proposal recognises and respects the opportunity we have been given,” says Patrick Clifford, Principal, Architectus.
The ground floor elements will provide a range of retail, commercial services, and hospitality options, extending the footprint of the existing Queenstown CBD. Nick McCaw of Britomart Hospitality Group has been dedicated to designing the retail component for several years.
“Lakeview has now been over three years in the planning for us. We’ve drawn on our experience in Auckland’s Britomart where we participated throughout its growth as a long term tenant. We understand both the role of the business owner and the landlord to set a strong initial retail strategy and to allow the neighbourhood to evolve naturally over time.”
Sustainability is central to the project with carbon conscious construction methods using mass timber to be utilized throughout the precinct making Lakeview a leader in sustainable development, while improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of residents.
Daniel Moroder, President of the NZ Timber Society is supportive of what is to be New Zealand’s largest timber project, “With mass timber as the primary building material, this innovative building will sequester many tons of carbon from the atmosphere, following global trends in sustainable construction. This new development will enhance Queenstown while showcasing the use of mass timber to provide a living environment which is both aesthetically pleasing and enhances the wellbeing of residents.”
Endorsement from construction contractor Naylor Love CEO Rick Herd, speaks to the timeliness of the project and the positive impact the development will have for the Lakes District region.
“If any centre has suffered as a result of the world-wide Covid-19 crisis it has been Queenstown. The Lakeview project is an anchor for the town that will underpin the sustainability of the construction industry in the Queenstown Lakes District for the medium term, and the overall community and business enterprises beyond that. It is a statement of confidence in the long-term position of Queenstown as a world class tourist destination.
More significantly, the project’s scale continues the growth of regional critical mass that will allow continuity of business activity by becoming self-supporting, rather than suffering the impacts of tourism vagaries. Don’t underestimate how important this project is to reinforce people’s confidence in making Queenstown their home, not just a wonderful place to visit.”
The first release of residential sales is planned for 2022 with construction to commence in 2023.