Launceston's Riverview Hotel is set to be demolished to make way for a $5 million expansion of the Jackson Motor Company.
To facilitate the project, the City of Launceston will on Monday vote on whether to close “part of a local highway”, which is being used as a car park and for outdoor dining.
Developer Errol Stewart said his company bought the Charles Street property last month and the sale is due to settle mid-year, subject to permits.
He said the growth of the Kia and Volkswagen dealerships “determined the need to expand”, and he would build two new showrooms on the site.
While he originally planned to build the showrooms at the Lindsay Street site opposite the Silo Hotel, the Riverview opportunity could not to be passed up.
The site trades as Rusty Jack’s Riverview Hotel.
“It’s always been next door and you always keep your eyes on next door, so strategically it’s a good site,” Mr Stewart said.
“It’s got a lot of exposure on the corner … we think it will be a beneficial parcel of land to get and it just makes our site even more valuable one day.”
Monday’s council meeting vote will be around change of Crown-owned land, on the corner of Charles and William streets.
The land has been leased to the Riverview Hotel owner since 2003, and is used as an outdoor dining area.
That development came with an agreement that built infrastructure – glass panels and shade cloth roofing – would be removed by the owner if required.
“In order to commence the highway closure process, Aldermen must form the opinion that the highway may be closed for the public benefit in the interests of public safety and resultant lack of use,” the council agenda said.
“It is considered that the requested application has merit on the grounds of both public safety and lack of use.”
The report said Mr Stewart would also make alterations so to align the nature strip to the kerb line, and build a new footpath on the proposed property boundary.
The Aldermen’s vote will consider if the land fits the definition; to authorise the general manager to close the land under the relevant act; and would ask Mr Stewart to pay any out-of-pocket expenses.
Mr Stewart’s seven-hectare Invermay plot will still host the new National Automobile Museum of Tasmania site, as well as a large pre-delivery centre, both to cost about $5 million each.
“The pre-delivery centre is about a 3000-square metre-building and we have applied for a building permit to do piling for those buildings … and we’ll be piling as soon as we can get approvals,” Mr Stewart said.