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Character filled 95-year-old former boutique hotel in booming Waikato town is placed on the market for sale

The Arts and Crafts style property in the heart of Cambridge in the Waikato features a 601-square metre two-storey dwelling originally completed in 1928 as the Midlands Private Hotel - an upmarket venue comprising 30 guest rooms.

The grand venue later went on to become a private boarding house before being reconstituted into a motel style premises in the 1970s, then back into a hotel in the 1980s. A fire in the upstairs floor of the property in 2011 saw the entire building subsequently completely renovated into its current configuration.

Subsequently totally tastefully renovated and redecorated, the property has been operating lately as the Park House Bed and Breakfast, with its current owners running the entity as a lifestyle business sustaining nine-bedroom, six-bathroom, as well as grand living and dining rooms for use as communal spaces by guests.

Located close to the centre of Cambridge, and within walking distance of the central business district, the land, building at 70 Queen Street in Cambridge is now being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Cambridge, with the tender closing on May 11. Salespeople Willem Brown and Catherine Hayward said the opportunities for any new owner of the elegant character home were endless.

“The property could be segregated into a configuration offering both a family home, and a smaller number of rooms for short term tourist bookings or to sustain a professional services business such as medical or legal practitioners. With two kitchens, it could also be converted into a restaurant,” said Brown.

“Or of course it could be completely reverted into a substantial family home – with space for work from home activities to sustain a consultancy style business.”

The 601-square metre imposing two-storey dwelling sits on approximately 1,626-square metres of freehold land zoned commercial. It has a substantial private flat front lawn for significant off-street parking.

Cambridge is renown as a sporting hub for the North Island – much of that centred on nearby Lake Karapiro which regularly hosts club and school regattas in rowing, waka ama, and kayaking, while the Cambridge velodrome is the North Island’s premier indoor cycling track. Hayward said commercial accommodation providers in the Cambridge locale were regularly booked out by competitors and spectators attending the dozens of events taking place on either Lake Karapiro or at the Grassroots Trust Velodrome – both rated among the best sporting centres of their respective codes in New Zealand.

“Across the three freshwater aquatic-based sports activities combined, Lake Karapiro is booked out solidly throughout the summer months, and is additionally well patronised over the spring and autumn shoulder periods too,” she said.

“Commercial accommodation providers operating in the greater Cambridge region - such as Park House Bed and Breakfast – and indeed right through to Hamilton, benefit from not only accommodating competitors, but more so from providing options for friends and family coming to support them racing.

“Likewise, the Grassroots Trust Velodrome indoor cycling velodrome on the outskirts of town has a similar competitor and supporter dynamic - bringing in competitors and supporters at both school and club levels for most of the year.”

Aside from benefitting from sporting-related activities, the Waipa and Hamilton regions have also seen domestic tourism and business-related events grow in stature – such as the National Fieldays agricultural expo’ held annually at Mystery Creek, Balloons over the Waikato, and Hobbiton at nearby Matamata.

The grand Park House Bed and Breakfast residence at 70 Queen Street is constructed in the highly recognisable Arts and Crafts design heritage which traces its roots back to the mid-19th century, as a revolt against the opulence and ornateness of the industrial revolution and Victorian mass-produced and largely uninspiring home design period emanating from the UK

Among the notable architectural design components found in most Arts and Crafts homes – and clearly evident throughout Park House B & B - are the use of exposed wooden ceiling beams, smaller-paned windows, the efficient and economic use of internal spaces to deliver minimal maintenance and upkeep, a wide roof with eave overhangs, a large fireplace in the main communal living space to create a focal point for the room, wide hallways, a large entrance foyer, and an imposing front porch with prominent columns.

Again, in a 180-degree direction to distance themselves from the predecessor design periods, Arts and Crafts homes were predominantly made from natural elements, sourced locally wherever possible, including stone, brick, and wood, with copper and bronze fittings.

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