City council may demolish hall, sell off land

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 05/09/2014

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The North Invercargill Hall in Windsor could be demolished and sold to a commercial party just weeks after it was gifted to the city council.

Invercargill City Council chief executive Richard King said he would recommend to council at the next meeting that the hall be demolished and the land sold to private parties.

The North Invercargill Public Hall Society gifted the hall to the council, together with more than $21,000 in funds, last month.

Since then, two private companies had approached the council about buying the land, he said.

That scenario seemed the most sensible, with the profit of the sale going towards to improving the Scottish Hall, King said.

The 88-year-old hall was closed in April because it met only 15 per cent of earthquake standards, so the sale would not inconvenience anyone, he said.

"There's quite a bit of interest in [buying] it."

King said the hall was in a desirable location and provided the commercial sector with lots of scope to build.

Infrastructure and services committee chairman Lindsay Thomas said he believed that the council should look at other options as well, such as car parking for the area or shifting the playground there from across the road, where the land was leased.

The council would also have to discuss the fact it was in the midst of a multimillion-dollar central business district upgrade and was working hard to attract shoppers and investment there, Thomas said.

City council building assets manager Paul Horner said he was not involved with the future of the Windsor Hall but was working through the costings and improvements needed for the Scottish Hall.

However, the amount of improvement needed and the cost of that would depend on the group chosen to manage it, Horner said.

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