Wharf rises up from the ashes
Fire ended an era in Raglan more than two years ago when it ripped through the wharf's historic sheds - now a new chapter is about to open at the end of Wallis St.
Waikato District Council is planning a grand opening on August 6 for the multimillion-dollar development that replaced the ash and debris.
It's two weeks behind schedule due to bad weather.
The interior needs a final shine and details need to be added outside. But apart from that, the building of seven tenancies is ready to go.
District council general manager of water and facilities Richard Bax said it's looking "really good".
"I think the designers have done a great job of trying to recreate the atmosphere of the building and the site and also put something together that's going to be more functional.
"With Raglan Seafood looking to go back in there it'll be the raw fish coming in from fishing boats being available for sale to the public and the fish and chip shop they had before."
There had been concern about the cost difference between leases prior to the fire and afterwards, but Mr Bax said three of seven tenancies are filled and there has been interest in the remaining four.
The building was expected to cost the council $1,943,000 and the total project cost, including design work and wharf repair work, $2,893,570. And the council is on budget, Mr Bax said.
Raglan Community Board chairman Rodger Gallagher has watched the buildings take shape and says it will fill the hole left after the fire in 2010.
"It was developing into quite a nice little tourist attraction with fish available on the wharf and that kind of thing. So it'll be good to have that back and it'll give the town a nice little boost because there's always a flow-on effect from people employing people."
Details of the opening are still being ironed out but it looks like mayor Allan Sanson will cut an opening ribbon and invited guests will lunch before the building is opened up for the public to walk through.
Raglan councillor Clint Baddeley said everyone has been waiting with anticipation for the reopening of the wharf sheds. "I think people will be pleasantly surprised with what we've been able to achieve."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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