Queenstown New Zealand Accommodation and Activities Guide. Queenstown is New Zealand 's premier destination resort.

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May, 2022

After three years of planning, and more than two years of construction,

Queenstowns redeveloped OConnells is targeting an October 1


Skyline Enterprises property manager Alastair Clifford says since work

started on the Camp

Street-facing building in February, 2020, its been dragged into the 22nd


The end result marks a maturing of the resort.

Skylines leased two retail floors of the four-level building to global

retail traveller DFS Group, which will soon begin its Resort Galleria

fitout, while the top floor will house offices for DFS and Skyline.

The base build for the lower-level food hall, dubbed Eatspace, is on

track for completion at the end of next month, after which the eight

tenants  yet to be confirmed  will move in and finish off their

individual spaces.

Clifford says interest in the tenancies has been high, despite some

Covid-related issues.

The pandemics impacted Skyline going out to market, and potential

tenants ability to expand, he says, though they are in talks with several

leading food and dining operators and brands.

Hes expecting therell be a combination of established local operators,

setting up offshoots of existing full-service restaurants, and some new

entrants to the Queenstown market in Eatspace, which will provide

small bites and tapas-style offerings, rather than full menus.

Six of the 18 square metre tenancies are dotted around a central bar,

while Clifford says the vision for the final tenancy, a bunker-like space,

is for something completely different & funky and radical.

Total dining capacity is about 230, with tables and chairs, booths, bar

leaners, and seating around individual tenancies.

Where old meets new: Elements of the old OConnells have been

incorporated into the new-look building

Clifford says Skyline will continue to deliver on legendary local hospo

pioneers Iris and Jim

OConnells motto, youre always welcome at OConnells.

We want everyone to come here  we want it to be the central point

[of Queenstown].

It also marks a maturing of Queenstowns overall offering.

The grotty bathrooms of old have undergone a total transformation, and

now include translucent, illuminated central vanities, with a purpose-

built wheelchair lift providing access to them.

RGB strip lights, which change colour, feature lights, internal wall

treatments, and a glass ceiling are all new, along with a glass elevator

and a new entrance off Cow Lane, while elements of the former

OConnells, like internal concrete columns, have been worked into

the Preston Stevens-redesigned space.

Its growing up, Clifford says.

Theres colour, theres a lot more modern things in here & it has a bit

of class.

[Its] all coming together really well, and will be a major boost and

much-needed revitalisation of downtown Queenstown, in time for the

return of international visitors.

While the building itself has been delayed  it was initially pegged for

completion around September last year, with DFS to have opened up

next month  Clifford says that was more about getting it right than

because of Covid.

And, remarkably, he says the projects still on budget.

Source: Mountain Scene

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