GEORGE NEWS - Progress with plans to blow new life into the grand old Hawthorndene Hotel has been slow over the past one and a half years under new ownership, but definite advancement has been made, according to Andries Troskie who acquired the property in 2017.
"We are wrestling with issues regarding approval for the new entrances from the front and back, as well as 30 sectional titles that have to be consolidated. These processes are proving to be quite complicated and time-consuming," Troskie said.
He plans to create either a large guest house or boutique hotel. "The architects had a meeting with the town planning department on Friday. Plans are nearing completion, but we cannot finalise anything before the matter of the sectional titles has been completed."
One of the tough issues they faced in the beginning - the illegal occupants on the property - has been dealt with. The inhabitants have been successfully relocated.
The hotel stood empty for many years and fell into disrepair, with vandals and thieves taking their toll.
Former George Herald journalist Pauline Lourens reported at length on the legal mire that plagued the property after the former owning companies, Pluscor and Natserve, had gone bankrupt and the initial liquidator was removed.
The eventual sale was handled by liquidators Mazars Recovery & Restructuring, and KPMG.