Grand plans for Grand Hotel refurbishment

Palmerston North’s Grand Hotel new owners, Terra Civil, have plans to restore the 155-year-old building to its former glory.

The Grand Hotel was designed by architect Joseph Clarkson Maddison and built in 1906. It once hosted the first reigning monarch to visit New Zealand, when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip stayed in 1954, and King George VI in 1927. After it closed down in 1972, the hotel was converted into office and retail space.

After a year or two of managing the building as is, Terra Civil director Kaleb Fugle plans to keep the retail spaces on the ground floor and convert upstairs into luxury apartments by blending the original French-style architecture with clean and modern additions.

Previous owners Wallace Development are assisting Terra Civil with putting together an interest group including mayor Grant Smith, Palmerston North City Council, and Heritage New Zealand, to assess which parts and features of the building are essential to its character and history.

When asked about their thought’s on the historical building’s renovations, Heritage New Zealand’s Central Region Area Manager, Alison Dangerfield, said “The former Grand Hotel is a magnificent building and a local landmark in Palmerston North. It is an outstanding category 1 historic place which we now can look forward to being once again a showcase building in The Square.

“The plans to renovate and conserve The Grand are in the very early stages. Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is very pleased to be consulted as the development team is engaged and briefed. We look forward to future discussions about the details of the project. We are delighted that this initiative is underway as this building deserves the care and management due to its importance to the city and to the nation.”