Director/Investor Pulls Pin On City Centre Development, Slams ICC’s Lack of Assistance
HWCP Management announced today that Geoff Thomson has resigned as HWCP director for personal reasons.
According to HWCP director Scott O’Donnell, HWCP respects Geoff’s decision “unreservedly”.
“It is absolutely imperative that Invercargill’s heart is brought back into the inner city. While the project has experienced a bit of a bump in the road, it is still on track to continue,” Scott stated in a press release.
Geoff Thomson, who owns the Distinction Hotel chain, said his initial involvement with the development was due to his passion for the city and desire to see it thrive. He has now run out of energy trying to work with the council, and chief executive Clare Hadley, who he believes has made the process harder than it needs to be.
Geoff says that out of all councils he has worked with on projects, Invercargill has a reputation as being the most challenging.
Scott says Geoff has always done what is best for Invercargill and has dedicated a “staggering amount” of time, energy, effort, and care into getting the CBD project where it is today.
“This is just a hiccup, and that happens all the time in business. Our focus has now turned to Plan B and ensuring this game-changing redevelopment boxes on. HWCP remains as committed as ever to seeing this through, for the people who call Invercargill home and for future generations to come.”
In light of Geoff Thomson’s resignation, The Invercargill City Council has reaffirmed its commitment to the development.
According to Chief Executive Clare Hadley, the Council’s focus was always on a vibrant city centre and community wellbeing. “This has not changed,” she said. Clare has not commented on Geoff’s reasoning for pulling out of the development.
The Invercargill City Council has also confirmed that Geoff Thomson will make no further investment to the development, but that ICC would work with remaining investors to ensure sufficient funding to move the project forward.