Council-owned villa to go
Decision on the demolition or removal of villa yet to be made
An old villa which was the former home of a Whanga¯rei childcare centre is set to go — one way or another — from its home on Dent St.
The project to have the site cleared and reinstate grass was one brought forward at a Whanga¯rei District Council meeting last week.
The move counteracts budgeted funding for big projects that won’t be spent this financial year due to delays in progress. Up to $80,000 has been allocated.
Council commercial property portfolio manager Mike Hibbert could not confirm the age of the building but said the council bought it in 1950. He said the process to clear the site had just started and no time frame had been confirmed.
Demolition and removal are both among the options. Hibbert said the process may determine that the removal or sale of the building is an option to offset costs.
“The condition of the building has been very poor for a number of years.”
Hibbert said, in 2012 the lease for the building expired and Forum North Childcare, which previously occupied the building, and the council started to look at alternative op- portunities.
“The condition of the building and the potential use of the site for a hotel/ accommodation development were considered and council notified the childcare of their intent not to look at a new lease.”
He said the ability to develop a hotel or accommodation was approved by council as a result of a special consultative process. The childcare centre then built a new facility on Riverside Drive and moved in earlier this year.
He said returning the site to grass did not mean the end of plans to develop a hotel on the site.
“A clear site is easier to manage and more attractive, especially as it is adjacent to Laurie Hall Park.” Hibbert said the condition of the building would make it prohibitive cost-wise to upgrade to be able to rent it out again.
“Plus council is still looking at the site for potential development.”
When asked if any of the building would be recycled, Hibbert said it would be expected that any value in the building from doors or timber for example would be reflected in the proposed removal/ demolition winning contract.
Whanga¯rei District Council commercial property portfolio manager Mike Hibbert at the building site which will be cleared.
The building has been in very poor condition for a number of years.