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Bedding in a new idea

Masterton’s Town Hall could be turned into a hotel alongside an events centre. PHOTO/FILE.

DON FARMER

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Masterton’s earthquake prone Municipal Building could be moving over to make way for a boutique hotel to complement an events centre to be built on the site.

This has emerged as a possibility in a report prepared by Masterton District Council chief executive Pim Borren and confirmed by Mayor Lyn Patterson.

Today, councillors are expected to debate the prospect of the town hall/municipal building complex taking on the completely different role but, regardless of any outcome from the meeting, any firm decision on what is to become of the abandoned buildings will go out for public consultation.

Mr Borren report stated: “We are investigating expressions of interest for developing our town hall site as a boutique hotel, with a range of Wellington developers.

“Again, we see this as a potentially transformational project for our CBD if we can convert the current Municipal Building into a hotel alongside a new events/convention centre.”

Mrs Patterson has also alluded to Wellington developers showing an interest in setting up a hotel on the site but when questioned further on the prospect she said the “very clear message” to everyone is the council has a duty to look at all options and any decision on the buildings and the future use of the land is a long way off.

“We will look at everything that comes our way, we are open to have a discussion with anyone who has anything to add to our town,” she said.

Once all options are on the table the community will be asked how it wants the site to be utilised.

Mrs Patterson had no comment to make on whether Wellington developers setting up a hotel in town would cross paths with the business of Masterton-based Trust House which has been a major sponsor of council initiated projects in the town for decades.

Trust House’s core business is in hotels and hospitality.

Cost estimates received by the council suggest earthquake strengthening the buildings to retain them, or conversely wrecking then and building a new performing arts and events centre would each cost around $15 million.

 

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