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Makeover for Turkey Red

Turkey Red will be turned into apartments and commercial premises with townhouses out the back. PHOTO/FILE

PAM GRAHAM
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The new owner of the Turkey Red country hotel building in Greytown is promising to “spend some dough” renovating it but its long history as a pub looks to be over.

Richard McNaughton Developments purchased the building on May 2 for an undisclosed sum.

Since then, associated company, Watermart, posted on social media about redevelopment plans to address any speculation the pub might be pulled down.

McNaughton is clear the building is not going to be pulled down.

“We are going to renovate Turkey Red. At the moment the proposed option is three commercial tenancies downstairs and two apartments upstairs. And then we will build some nice townhouses out back.”

The property is on big piece of land, at 2400m2, and is in the heritage precinct of the town, although it is not heritage listed.

He said the renovation of the building would be “quite substantial”.

“There is going to be a fair bit of dough poured into renovating that place.”

The former owner is continuing to run the property as a country hotel in the meantime.

McNaughton said he didn’t have any stories to tell about drinking there in his youth as he’s from Waikato and Auckland.

He moved to Wairarapa for work and purchased Watermart, a business that will get plumbing and renovation work out of the project.

He said the seven townhouses to be built on the site at the back of the renovated existing building would be upmarket, but it was too early to say at what prices they would be marketed.

He hoped to have two shops and either a restaurant or wine bar or café downstairs in the building in future with the two apartments upstairs.

The redevelopment is expected to get under way in early 2019.

The company that now owns Turkey Red is Richard McNaughton Developments. McNaughton also owns AG Services Waikato, Watermart Wairarapa and Watermart Homes.

It was too early to say when the current business would close.

The owner, Marilla Rankin, was travelling in Australia last week.

Back in 1870, the property on Greytown’s main street was known as the Forrester’s Arms.

It offered stabling a well as meals, spirits and accommodation.

In 1999, the name was changed to the Green Man and in 2010 after a facelift, the business was called Turkey Red Greytown Country Hotel, according to the hotel’s website.

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