THE former home of the Port Macquarie Visitor Information Centre is finally seeking a new tenant.
The Gordon Street building has been vacant since the centre moved to the Glasshouse in 2009.
The 155m2 building is zoned for business tenants and will cost at least $3200 a month for a two-year lease.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council owns the site, which includes a residential house next to the building.
Business services group manager Rebecca Olsen revealed the process took a while because the council needed to consider the future of the whole site.
Ms Olsen said the temporary building may be relocated once a decision is made on long-term development.
“It will probably take a couple of years to work through [evaluating development options] so in the interim, council will lease the building out,” she said.
“Council is hoping to attract a commercial market lessee.”
Port Macquarie Acoustics Clinic audiologist Mel Gray-Thompson welcomed the move, saying “if the council gets some return on the building it’s better than it sitting there to rot”.
Operating in our town for 20 years, Mr Gray-Thompson was pleased the council had a long-term goal of developing the prominent site.
“If it gives a business a new start, it’s a win-win for everybody,” he said.
Fellow Port businessman, Greg Constable, was far less forgiving.
The Constable Screen Printing and Embroidery owner, said it was good news that Port Macquarie-Hastings Council were seeking new tenants for the empty building but said it was “too little, too late”.
He said the three-year vacancy and estimated it to add up to about $100,000 in lost revenue.
“Our rates continue to increase but council have these assets just sitting around not being used,” he said.
“How many other assets are around town not being used while our rates keep rising?”
He said he was “sick to death” of poor management from council.
“It just comes down to mismanagement,” he said.
“That would never happen in a private enterprise because they would be losing out on too much money.
“Even if council had a perfectly good reason to not lease it out they could have offered it to the many community groups around town to utilise in the mean time.”
Expressions of interest for the site close on August 30 and for further information you can phone Jeff Walton on 6581 8699.