Launceston developer Errol Stewart has revealed plans for a $5 million expansion of the Jackson Motor Company at the site of the Riverview Hotel.
We put your most asked questions to Mr Stewart. Here are his answers.
Is the Riverview Hotel heritage listed?
Mr Stewart said there is a lot of history about the site, but that is not reflected in the building there today as it had been subject to so many changes.
“We are demolishing the hotel because it is not heritage listed. It was built in the 1800s but it has passed its used by date as a hotel and it is not heritage listed and I am within my rights to pull it down, providing I get approval,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some significance, I have done a fair bit of reading on it.
“There is a legend that says the keel of a boat might be buried underneath it but that could be buried quite a long way down and we won’t be going that far down to find it.”
There are some heritage considerations include in the development application, but they do not relate to the new showrooms to be built on the Riverview Hotel site.
“The main Ford building is heritage listed and so is the building on the Esplanade,” Mr Stewart said.
“We are putting a new sign on the main building and we are making alterations and additions to the building on the Esplanade … and we need to get heritage approval for them.”
Why is the expansion of JMC necessary?
“Both the VW and Kia brands are expanding and the manufactures demand that you have the facilities, but so do the consumers,” he said.
“If we don’t have better facilities then we won’t get the business.”
He said it’s the same reason new hotels are built – people do not like to stay in older hotels, it is about the experience.
“If people are going to buy a new $20,000 or $30,000 car they want nice facilities and great service centres, and we don’t have that for Kia and VW,” he said
“We don’t necessarily have to build them where the hotel is but that is the preference so that it would all be on one site, as we are just about out of room.
“We’ll just take it one step at a time.”