RSA sells bowling club site to developer

The Mosgiel Memorial RSA building in Church St, Mosgiel. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The Mosgiel Memorial RSA building in Church St, Mosgiel. PHOTO: ODT FILES
It's bowling club is likely to be bowled, but Mosgiel's beleaguered RSA will reopen its doors.

The Mosgiel Memorial RSA has sold its bowling club site, at 3 Church St, to a Dunedin property developer.

An extraordinary general meeting was held on Sunday afternoon, and a new executive was voted in.

Newly-elected club president Debbie Kennedy confirmed the sale, saying the site was sold for "just over $1million''.

"We're anticipating that it will be knocked over and he will build residential housing there, because it's zoned residential,'' she said.

She would not say to whom the site was sold.

According to the Dunedin City Council's rates database, the 0.1975ha site has a capital value of $660,000.

But the club has done an about-face regarding its main clubrooms and restaurant across the road at 6 Church St.

The site had been offered for sale, but Ms Kennedy said the club had decided to retain ownership, and would reopen its doors.

"We're unsure as yet whether it will be a lease arrangement [or] us running it.

"We have to go back to the membership.''

At its annual meeting in June, the RSA proposed selling its main building and extending the building across the road at the bowling club site to accommodate the down-sized club.

But it later decided to also put the bowling club on the market.

The decision to keep the main club site was something of a fresh start for the club, Ms Kennedy said.

In 2017 the club's executive committee had been transformed into a board, and a members' committee had been established to deal with other matters.

That did not work, so they have returned to having an executive committee.

"There's been a lot ... that's gone down in the past few months so people are losing a little bit of interest, so we want to get some real positivity around it,'' she said.

"It has to be a completely different model than it has been in the past, we're completely aware of that. A lot to be done, but we don't want to make the same mistakes of the past.''

In late April, the RSA announced it had gone from a $14,000 surplus to a deficit of more than $100,000 over the course of two years.

That was blamed on a lack of patronage, higher operating costs and tougher trading conditions at its bar and restaurant.

But Ms Kennedy described the club's financial position as now "very healthy''.

The new executive wanted to make the club more of a "community hub'' going forward.

But the hospitality part of the club also had to work, "because that's where the money comes from'', she said.

"We want to do some new exciting things and bring in the younger community.''

There was no firm date for reopening the club, but Ms Kennedy said they wanted to open the doors "as soon as possible''.

"If we can get enough enthusiasm in the wider Mosgiel community to make a huge success of it, that's what we want.''


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