13 Jul 2017

Preferred site of new Hamilton theatre complex announced

8:58 am on 13 July 2017

The preferred site of a new Waikato Regional Theatre in Hamilton to replace the Founders Theatre has been announced.

Founders Theatre - modern.

The new theatre is expected to seat about 1200 people. Photo: Supplied: Hamilton City Council

The Hamilton Hotel site on Victoria Street has been recommended to the Hamilton City Council.

The 6200-square metre site is bordered by Embassy Park and Sapper Moore-Jones Place and runs down to the Waikato River.

The Momentum Waikato Community Trust, which is leading the project, looked at 25 potential sites in the CBD and narrowed it down to four, before deciding on its preference.

Trust chair Leonard Gardner said the location would transform the city through recognising history, revitalising the CBD and enhancing the city's connection with the Waikato River.

The facade of the Hamilton Hotel, which is a heritage building, will be restored and incorporated into the design of the new theatre, which is expected to seat about 1200 people.

Details on design and cost will be presented to the council on 24 August.

Mr Gardner said it was hoped the new complex would be the centre of a creative precinct and would revitalise properties around it.

"These properties will provide an ideal home for creative industry to flourish."

The trust said it announced the preferred site on Wednesday to allow the public to have their say before it goes back to the council next month.

The Founders Theatre was closed last year after concerns over the safety of the building.

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