Hotel plan is good for village

It was an end of an era last week as the chattels of the Happy Tav in the centre of Havelock North were auctioned, but it is the start of something quite exciting.

While some may mourn the demise of the old pub, finally the much talked about $25 million hotel development can go ahead.

Lowmac Properties developer David Mackersey said plans had been finalised and consents granted for the Havelock North Village Exchange, set to replace the Happy Tav on the corner of Porter Drive and Te Aute Rd.

The project was a long-time dream of the late Graeme Lowe and his son Andy, who co-owns Lowmac Properties, is delighted it is finally happening after a decade of planning.

And so am I.

I reckon this is great for the village. The two-year project will result in a 40-room, five-star boutique hotel, bar and restaurant, function and conference facilities, a central courtyard, seven retail spaces including a cafe, first-floor offices and a basement car park with 96 spaces.

I am sure there will be some people who will complain about increased traffic and anything else they can think of, but it is important for our region’s economy that we have developments like this.

It is called progress and it is the only way we can compete with other cities and towns for tourists and business people.

Our village shops will benefit from tourists shopping there, while companies in Hawkes’ Bay and other parts of the North Island will be able to use it for conferences.

It is very easy for us to say no to development and sometimes that is justified.

But not this time.

This is good news for Havelock North and Hawke’s Bay as a whole.

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