Fel­tex fac­tory a ‘play­ground’

The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ADAM POULOPOULOS

Ru­mours con­tinue to fly about the fu­ture of a prom­i­nent Fox­ton site, but its owner says it’s act­ing as his play­ground for the mo­ment.

Ken Soo, wife Lorna and three oth­ers bought the old Fel­tex Car­pet Fac­tory site, on the cor­ner of Dun­can St and Lady’s Mile, in 2015.

The site was bought as an in­vest­ment and was cur­rently be­ing used to store ve­hi­cles and as a place where Soo could work on his trac­tors.

An an­i­mal feed dis­tri­bu­tion plant was also op­er­a­tional on the site.

‘‘It’s just a play­ground for us,’’ Soo said.

‘‘We’re not do­ing any­thing to stand out ... when we first bought it coun­cil came round and had a bit of a talk. It’s just what they sug­gested.’’

Soo said any­one want­ing to pay to store things on the site was wel­come to con­tact him.

Floor­ing com­pany God­frey Hirst sold the site to the new group. Hirst ac­quired the site, which was used to make tufted car­pets, in 2006, when they bought Fel­tex from its re­ceivers.

The fac­tory, then one of the town’s big­gest em­ploy­ers, was closed two years later, with 84 jobs lost.

Soo said the site was bought cheaply and was bring­ing in about $200,000 in rent at the time of pur­chase.

It was ideally sit­u­ated, close to schools and the town cen­tre.

Horowhenua District Coun­cil eco­nomic devel­op­ment man­ager Shanon Grainger said he and chief ex­ec­u­tive David Clap­per­ton met with Soo and in­for­mally dis­cussed po­ten­tial uses for the site.

‘‘Given the strate­gic lo­ca­tion of the site, Horowhenua District Coun­cil is keen to see the land de­vel­oped in a way that gen­er­ates value for the com­mu­nity.’’

ADAM POULOPOULOS

The old Fel­tex Car­pet Fac­tory site in Fox­ton.

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