Feltex factory a ‘playground’
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.’’
The old Feltex Carpet Factory site in Foxton.