Neil Rankin says Australasia collaboration with developer, 'perfect marriage...fantastic result for everybody'

Neil Rankin is proud of the work he and his team have undertaken on the restoration of Eden's Australasia. Photo: Leah Szanto

Neil Rankin is proud of the work he and his team have undertaken on the restoration of Eden's Australasia. Photo: Leah Szanto

A new chapter in the life of Eden's Australasia is here, with confirmation this week of the sale of the 1904 hotel.

Having beautifully restored the facade and nearing completion of his efforts on the mammoth project, Neil Rankin said he is feeling great about the sale of the hotel to Core Asset Development (CAD).

"I promised the community I would finish the front facade which I have done, this week a new roof is going on and that will mark the end of my contract," he said.

"I'm quite proud of what I have achieved.

"The last two years have been different, with everything closed down and no-one willing to make investments just in the hope the doors would open again.

"So the project was sitting there a bit stale, and wanting new direction."

The original facade of the 1904 building graces Imlay Street street again. Photo: Peter Whiter.

The original facade of the 1904 building graces Imlay Street street again. Photo: Peter Whiter.

Neil felt strongly that CAD would bring competence and professionalism to the next stage of the development.

"I got cold feet myself in regards to the next level, it needs the expertise of the developers to take it to the next level inside and out the back," he said.

"It's the perfect marriage, me having put a lot of pride into the front and them taking on the rest.

"I have a good feeling about the finishing of it, it'll be better for Eden.

"I've loved it, I have really enjoyed it, we've accomplished a lot with a great local team," he said.

Neil would like to retire soon but will be continuing to give a hand to the project as a building consultant, in particular watching over the heritage aspect of the work.

"I'm going to hand my team over to continue doing the heritage work and the developer will get a bigger team on board too," he said.

"It's still very important to me and I'll be keeping a close eye. These plans for the project are perfect and couldn't have come at a better time, it's really positive, really professional.

"CAD will be keeping it pretty close to the masterplan. This is their model, having both the motel and hotel, it'll be great for the town," Neil said.

The project so far has involved many people in the local area and Neil was filled with gratitude reflecting on the way so many people had backed him.

"I've got thousands of people to thank, especially the community for supporting me in the project, and a lot of local businesses," he said.

"Everybody loves it. Everybody is so excited.

"Kids come past and I hear them say, 'Look at the castle!', I have had people in tears thanking me for the work we have done.

"This next step is a fantastic result for everybody."

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