Two new exciting projects have been unveiled in Lower Hutt - a four star plus hotel project and an events centre, which should encourage other developments in the CBD.
Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace unveiled concept drawings for the hotel in southern High Street - a really smart looking complex featuring two towers (see attached drawing). They will reportedly house 60 studio and one bedroomed apartments under the Sebel brand , with the complex operating as part of - Accon Hotels - one of the world's largest hotel groups, said to be present in 92 other countries.
Mayor Wallace described the new hotel complex, closely aligned with the new council- owned events centre already under construction next to the townhall / council buildings reconstruction, as a gamebreaker and a very exciting part of the rejuvenation of downtown Lower Hutt, rather neglected in recent times.
The hotel developer is reportedly USAR Commercial Assets Ltd, the directors of which are Raman and Anurahda Sarin, who have reportedly had extensive accomodation and event centre operations. They would be contracted to operate the Lower Hutt events centre for at least twenty years.
An adviser to the council, noted that previously the old Horticultural and Town halls actually cost Lower Hutt ratepayers to operate . Now the earthquake strengthened and modernised town hall and events centre would financially contribute to the city's coffers.
The Hutt City Council has cleverly marketed the opportunity as a package, and Raman Sarin's bid was reportedly the best proposal of the seven submitted.
The hotel and events centre would create 90 new jobs and it has been projected that they would inject up to $75 million dollars into the local economy over 20 years. The projects have been described as economically sound.
The two projects should undoubtably encourage other new investments and projects into the CBD, such as restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs etc, which will not be provided in the hotel complex. It is hoped these projects will encourage locals to use the facilities rather than going into Wellington City.
The news of the new projects comes close on the heels of the completion and opening of the new multi-million dollar Walter Nash Centre in Taita, the new sports and recreation centre in this northern suburb. This replaces the old community centre that was demolished, and absorbs the old Walter Nash stadium into the new complex.