Consent sought for $42m project

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Bayhill Developments Limited, led by South Canterbury businessman Allan Booth, has applied for resource consent for a mixed-use $42 million office, apartment, retail and hotel complex at 10 The Bay Hill in Timaru.
Development plans include demolishing the 102-year-old Hydro Grand Hotel, which has stood derelict and unoccupied for the past 10 years, and building three separate but linked buildings around a public courtyard on the 0.25ha site, overlooking Caroline Bay.
Mr Booth said design elements of the development had been peer reviewed by an independent urban design panel before being submitted.
He said the proposed six-floor office building would include food and beverage tenancies at ground floor, and commercial tenants on the remaining floors, while the top floor was able to be configured for either offices or apartments.
The seven-floor apartment building would also feature food and beverage outlets on the ground and first floor fronting The Bay Hill, with 32 apartments on the remaining five floors, he said.
The proposed hotel, which would form the final stage of the development, would feature 68 rooms.
Mr Booth said there had been early discussions with a number of interested hotel partners while nothing would be finalised pending the result of the consent process.
The development would boost available parking in the area by 63 bays, while secure cycle and storage areas would be provided for the apartments and loading and service areas for ground floor tenants.
‘‘The project team did a lot of work to ensure all options for the site had been considered,’’ Mr Booth said.
That included refurbishment options to restore the hotel to a working hotel that met current earthquake code and safety standards.
‘‘On embarking on the project, I had a pretty open mind about all the possibilities for the site, but it soon became quite clear that any thought of retention and refurbishment of the old Hydro would be an expensive and futile exercise.
‘‘At that point, I changed my focus to what would best suit the unique location and of course would work.’’
A report by architects Salmond Reed, who advised on redevelopment options for the Hydro Grand, acknowledged that while the building was a notable architectural feature of the Timaru business district, the facilities of the building were ‘‘wholly unsuited to modern use’’.
‘‘The cost of retention of the existing building and adapting this to meet the contemporary performance standards of a modern hotel cannot achieve a commercial return on that investment,’’ the report said.