Toy library is seeking new headquarters
Hundreds of toys need a new home after the Wanaka Community Toy Library started outgrowing its space.
A change of ownership of the Reece Cres building also meant it was probably too expensive to stay, but the big issue was where to move to.
Committee president Donnelle Dunlop said the old landlord Kenneth Chartres, who recently died, had been very generous and waived all the rates and insurance costs.
Rent on the building was $4500 a year but it was at least another $1000 for the additional expenses associated with leasing the building.
‘‘It was his goodwill project,’’ committee member Jo Goodwin said.
The building was then sold to Mike Horder of Wanaka, who informed the committee it would be up for a rent review in June 2015 – and likely increased to a more commercial rate.
Dunlop said while that was quite understandable, it was not something the toy library could afford – and the lease on the building didn’t expire until the end of 2016.
‘‘It’s getting harder and harder for groups like us to get funding for operational costs,’’ she said.
However, after the Mirror contacted Horder he rang the committee this week and offered them a rent holiday from July until June next year.
‘‘He is really trying to help us. It’s cheap rent but not an ideal building for us anyway, and on a busy road,’’ she said.
Horder said the building was tired and needed upgrading, and the money spent doing that had to be factored into the rent review.
It was also quite clear the toy library had outgrown the space, and there were storage issues, he said.
‘‘These circumstances have acted as a catalyst to look for a better more suitable location.’’
Dunlop said now the rent had been waived, it was likely they may find a more suitable space sooner than later.
Starting in a garage 21 years ago, the toy library could be back to where it all began, and the committee would be extremely grateful for the use of a shed or similar.
‘‘We need an area of 90sq m. It needs to be our own space. We don’t want to be having to pack toys away,’’ Dunlop said.
The Wanaka Toy Library has between 80 and 100 members.
Home wanted: Wanaka Community Toy Library members (from left), Suzy and Eve Pfahlert, 3, Larisa Clarke and Eliana Leary, 2, Quinn Bretherton, 2, Donnelle and Nixon Dunlop, 4, Jo and Fern Goodwin, 2.