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Marketers Sought To Help Lease Historic Buildings

MEDIA RELEASE

2 September 2011

Marketers Sought To Help Lease Historic Buildings

The Hurunui District Council is seeking proposals from companies experienced in ‘unusual’ building lease arrangements to market three heritage buildings it has inherited on the old Queen Mary Hospital site in Hanmer Springs.

The Queen Mary Hospital Historic Reserve, which includes the Chisholm, Soldiers and Nurses blocks, was gazetted an an historic reserve and vested in the in the Hurunui District Council August 2010 – after a prolonged community campaign to retain the site in public ownership.

Over the past year the Council has worked with stakeholders and the community to draw up a draft management plan that will preserve and enhance the historic and cultural values of the Reserve and promote its use for the community and for business in ways that are consistent with the values of “wellness” in its widest context.

Hurunui District Council Special Projects Manager, Bruce Yates, says the Council is now ready to employ a person or company to market the buildings at least nationally, but possibly also internationally, to source potential lessees with the funding and commitment to support those goals.

“Because the future use of these buildings will need to be consistent with rules determined by a reserve management plan, landscape development report and building conservation plans, there may well be some difficulties in taking them to market.

“That means anyone wanting to take up the challenge will need to demonstrate not only a complete understanding of the documents and how they relate to the buildings but also a commitment to finding appropriate long-term users of all three buildings.”

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Bruce Yates says the long term strategy for the Queen Mary Hospital Historic Reserve is for a combination of commerical and community interests occupying and maintaining the three historic buildings on site.

“The Council may have to lease at least two of the buildings to private, commercial interests, and make the other available to community groups, thereby minimising costs to the general ratepayer.

“As soon as the management plan is adopted, the policies that any prospective lessees will have to follow will be clear, so it is now appropriate to employ a suitable “marketer” to invite and receive proposals on behalf of the Council to make use of these potentially attractive buildings on a significant heritage site.”

Any successful lessees will not only need to operate within the requirements of the management, conservation and landscaping plans, but also be able to fund the required conversions of the old buildings into new activities, within the strict parameters laid down by the Historic Places.

The Council hopes to appoint a marketer on or about October 27, with active marketing of the buildings to begin as soon as the Historic Reserve Management Plan is adopted, probably mid December.

It is seeking experienced people with the contacts and enthusiasm to eliicit expressions of interest from the widest possible audience for what is a unique opportunity to make good use of these special buildings which are set in the heart of Hanmer Springs and next door to the famous Hanmer Thermal Pools and Spa.

ends


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