Business & Investment

Peter Thiel’s gorgeous New Zealand lodge opposed by environmental groups

At a press conference in Tokyo on November 18, 2019, PayPal co-founder and Chairman of Palantir Technologies, Peter Thiel of Billionaire.

Kiyoshi Ota / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The luxurious lodge proposed by Peter Thiel on New Zealand’s South Island has been criticized by local environmental groups who believe it is “inappropriate” for the natural landscape.

NS PayPal When Palantir Co-founder who benefited from the initial investment in FacebookWants to build a lodge and private home on 193 hectares (477 acres) of land on the shores of Lake Wanaka near Queenstown.

Thiel bought real estate in 2015 Reported $ 13.5 million Through a company called Second Star Limited, which he owns and is headquartered in Auckland.

details of developmentIt appeared in the August plan application designed by Tokyo Olympic Stadium architects Kengo Kuma and Associates.

They show some buildings designed to blend in with the landscape. There is a private house built on the hillside and a large luxury lodge with enough space for 24 people. There is also a separate meditation pod, some water features, and a building behind the house that hasn’t been designed yet.

However, in a six-page letter to the Queenstown-Lakes District Council this month, the Upper Crusas Environmental Association said it opposed the entire application.

“The Association believes that the applicant has not significantly avoided, improved or mitigated the adverse effects,” the letter said, “the proposed development is inappropriate.”

Environmental groups argue that the building will be annoying to the natural landscape, and that development is “very unlikely” to meet the “reasonably obscure test” set by the local council. There is.

Thiel’s representative did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Kengo Kuma and Associates said their purpose was to “design organic architecture that blends into the landscape” and to respect the nature of indigenous peoples. Elsewhere, Joe Fife, senior planner at John Edmonds and Associates, who assessed the environmental impact of the complex, said the building’s landscape placement was “thoughtful.”

Visual impact

The so-called “owner’s cabin” has a spa, pool, theater lounge, office and 3 bedrooms, while the guest cabin has its own spa and pool, library, 10 guest bedrooms and a north-facing view. You can overlook. Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps.

To emphasize the visual impact of development, a campaign group opposed to development said, “The proposed row of buildings … extends over a large visual catchment area of ​​the target site. The building extends 330 meters.” I did.

“Relevant parking lots, access roads and paths will further impair the view of the excellent natural landscape. Over 7.4ha [hectares] It is proposed that part of the site be dug up with 36,800 m3 of earthworks. “

According to the group, aspects of development can be seen from many public trucks in Lake Wanaka and the region. “People driving, riding, walking, rowing, or boating in these very frequent public places will be attacked by numerous buildings that spread laterally throughout the target site,” he claimed.

The luxurious lodge has 10 bedrooms.

However, society said it was impressed with the “enhancement of ecological and biodiversity” stated in the plan application.

He also acknowledged that if the proposed tourism unit building was used in the manner described in the application, the development could bring potential economic benefits to the area.

However, the positive effects “do not significantly mitigate” the negative effects of the proposed development, he added.

Kiwi citizenship

In 2017, it was revealed that Thiel had been granted citizenship by the New Zealand Government, but his love for Aotearoa (Maori’s name) goes back a long time.

Serial entrepreneur first visited New Zealand in 1995.According to a detailed study by The New Zealand Herald, he was 28 years old...

He is also a big fan of the New Zealand film The Lord of the Rings trilogy.Has at least 5 of his businesses A name inspired by JRR Tolkien’s novel..

Relatively far from the world’s largest population, New Zealand has become a popular destination for the wealthy in recent years.billionaire Google Co-founder Larry Page Granted residence At the beginning of the year.

The country, home to about five million people, is associated with “preparers” who are preparing for catastrophic events that could threaten humanity.

Report Was proposing Thiel was planning to build some sort of apocalyptic bunker on his land. Some buildings appear to be built on the hillside, but it is unclear if any of them are intended to act as a bunker.

The prepper boom first came into the limelight in January 2017. New Yorker Articles The title, “Preparing for the End for the Ultra-rich,” made it clear that New Zealand is essentially a mecca for wealthy preparers. It is remote, geopolitically stable and sparsely populated. Importantly, it can also be completely self-sufficient in terms of water, food and energy, if needed.

Peter Thiel’s gorgeous New Zealand lodge opposed by environmental groups Peter Thiel’s gorgeous New Zealand lodge opposed by environmental groups

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