Prime development site for sale in Akaroa township
Well known Akaroa personality Eric Ryder is seeking to quit the hotel he has presided over for the past 30 years.
Covering 3,756sq m, the Grand Hotel has been put up for sale, together with two neighbouring historic cottages and a large-scale development site.
Located at 4-16 Rue Lavaud, the hotel has an historic façade and occupies a prime position at the gateway to the Akaroa township.
Ryder bought the Grand Hotel Akaroa in 1989 when he was running his own building company and also had an aluminium joinery company, both based in Kaiapoi.
Spending an increasing amount of time on building projects on Banks Peninsula, he decided to buy the pub when it came up for sale.
He built many houses in Akaroa over the years and bigger projects included construction of the La Maison Restaurant and the school gymnasium.
Serving on the Akaroa Council for 18 years, Ryder was a main driver in creating the one-way traffic system in the Akaroa township that has helped to create a real tourism hub and alleviate many traffic issues.
He was also involved in organising the inaugural Akaroa Marathon, Le Race and the French Festival, all of which have gone on to become annual events.
“I’ve loved it in Akaroa. It’s the people who’ve kept me here so long. It’s a small town where everyone helps everyone,” Ryder says.
“Back in 1989 when we were snowed in for 10 days, the Grand was the only place with a generator and gas and in the three big earthquakes the building was unscathed.”
Marketing agent Courtney Doig of Colliers International in Christchurch says the property represents a variety of development and value add opportunities.
“It’s rare to find such a large flat commercially-zoned development site in Akaora. We think this is a unique opportunity, providing dual street frontages coupled with the flexibility of being situated in multiple titles gives ample scope for the astute buyer.
“Situated on a prime position on Rue Lavaud, the character buildings themselves would benefit from being upgraded and restored so they can be repositioned as a new offering.”
The property is for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on August 8, unless sold prior.
Last year Doig sold a character building at Beach Road on Akaroa’s waterfront that is now home to the Akaroa Cooking School and the reception area of the Akaroa Village Inn. It attracted keen bidding at auction, selling for $1.85 million.
A mecca for tourists during the summer, 91 cruise ships visited Akaroa in the past season, bringing more than 200,000 passengers and crew. The same number if expected again in the 2019-2020 season.
Built in 1883, the Grand Hotel building retains much of its historic charm and some of the original features although it has seen many changes over the years.
Its Commercial Banks Peninsula zoning provides for a range of commercial and community activities.
Among Ryder’s many vivid memories is the time his pet cockatoo, James, escaped his cage during the night.
“He perched on a tap handle, pouring hundreds of litres of beer onto the floor of the bar and draining the tank dry. That was an hilarious insurance claim.”
In retirement, Eric and partner Jude plan to renovate their home in Robinsons Bay, visit family around New Zealand and spend time fishing.
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