Motorbike museum bigger, better and 'on budget'

Bill Richardson Transport World tourism operations manager Hannah Whyte (left) and HW Richardson...
Bill Richardson Transport World tourism operations manager Hannah Whyte (left) and HW Richardson property manager Sue Hill, in front of the central Invercargill buildings that will house the planned Classic Motorcycle Mecca display and cafe. Photos:...
Invercargill Classic Motorcycle Mecca attraction has not even opened but it is already expanding.

The owners of the collection of almost 300 bikes, ranging in age from vintage to contemporary, plus dozens of motorcycle-themed artworks, have decided the single building they were renovating to display it is not large enough, so they are expanding into the building next door.

Both buildings, on Tay St, central Invercargill, are being renovated to be ready  before the Burt Munro motorcycle challenge in late November.

The collection was bought  earlier this year from its Nelson owner by Jocelyn and Scott O’Donnell, for an undisclosed price.

Roy Vincent (left) and Dave McCallum, of  South Roads Civil, lift layers of old flooring in the...
Roy Vincent (left) and Dave McCallum, of South Roads Civil, lift layers of old flooring in the former Players nightclub building, Tay St, Invercargill. The building is one of two being renovated to display the Classic Motorcycle Mecca collection.
The O’Donnells are directors of HW Richardson (HWR), which has built  Bill Richardson Transport World further east on Tay St.

Mrs O’Donnell is the late Bill Richardson’s daughter.

HWR property manager Sue Hill said it had been planned to show the collection over two floors of the larger building, which began life as Thomson & Beattie drapers.

However, three weeks ago it was decided the space would be too small to display the collection to its full potential.

HWR owned a former nightclub building next door, so the decision was made to expand.

A main entrance and a cafe were being built in the former nightclub, she said.

Renovations were progressing quickly, Ms Hill said.

Although of different styles and from different eras, original materials from both buildings were being re-used and re-purposed to create ‘‘unique and interesting spaces’’.

"I’m really, really happy with the way it is all coming together.

"This is the type of renovation project which hasn’t really been done in Invercargill before."

She said renovating old buildings "was not the cheapest way to go" but the O’Donnells were committed to the work and excited about what having a tourist drawcard in Tay St would do for the central business district.

Ms Hill said there was no set budget for the project, which had its advantages.

"I can say the project is on time and on budget, seeing I don’t know what the budget is."

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