May 14, 2014
Arts brew a tourist draw at treaty base
The redevelopment of Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco into an artists’ enclave and tourism centre is being cited as a model for a troubled Wellington treaty settlement property.
Port Nicholson Settlement Trust has leased a former defence base at Shelly Bay on the Mirimar Peninsula to developer Ian Cassels for five years.
The iwi bought the 4.5 hectare site for $15 million as part of its 2008 settlement, but has struggled to find a use for it.
Several of the old buildings are occupied by film studios, artists' studios and the Chocolate Fish Cafe.
Mr Cassels says options include a craft brewery and bar in what was once the officers' mess, as well as art galleries, restaurants and boutique shops.
Trust chair Neville Baker says the lease will help the trust stabilise its financial position and create a platform for further development.
"Initially the project was about a theme park with Peter Jackson. That didn't proceed so we are now developing a way forward. The big plus for the trust is that it no longer is losing money," he says.
Mr Baker says the lease is flexible so both parties can share in the development.
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