Despite The Taranaki Daily News reporting this morning a victory for the New Plymouth RSA Club whose Strandon clubrooms sold at auction yesterday for $1.675 million leaving the NPRSA with a $400,000 surplus after debts are paid off, the club’s battle with the former owners – 435 Devon Ltd – appears far from over. Stephen (Steve) Peter Crow, a banned company director, speaking prior to the sale on behalf of 435 Devon Ltd that had defaulted on its mortgage interest payments – resulting in the property going to a mortgagee auction, is reported as saying that the RSA club owes him and his brother David Bruce Crow, who directs the company, $318,000. He added: “And we are not going to take a financial bath from this so they need to know there is a lawsuit if they don’t sort something out.” With this threat of more legal action by the former owners who tried to turn the iconic property into a boutique brothel and venue for their pornography business roadshow, the provincial heartland of New Zealand may have to put up with more ongoing disputes. Locals remain vehemently opposed to the iconic building ever being used as a brothel or as a venue to promote porn sleaze. The identity of the new owners and their intentions for the property have not been disclosed yet.
In his story “V-Day for RSA Club”, Matt Rilkoff reports in The Taranaki Daily News (18/09), as follows:
After months of bitter battle the New Plymouth RSA has been delivered an improbable and dramatic victory. Its Strandon club rooms yesterday sold at auction for $1.675 million, significantly more than expected and enough to leave the club in the black after years in the red. Once expenses are paid and the $735,000 owed to its welfare fund is paid, the club should be left with about $400,000, some of which will be used to re-establish itself at Pukekura Raceway, spokesman Reg Trowern said yesterday. “We are very pleased with the result, it’s an excellent result,” he said.
For full story go to: http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/4133401/V-Day-for-RSA-club
And it was an almost complete surprise, so much so that until Sunday night club members had desperately tried to scrape together enough cash to purchase the mortgage and so avoid what they feared could be a fire sale.
“There was terrible anxiety. We were worried about a depressed market. We thought the building may have reached one million and anything over that would be a bonus.
“As you can see it’s been a large bonus,” Mr Trowern said.
The sale brings to an end the club’s troubled relationship with Steve and David Crow, the brothers who bought the clubrooms from the financially troubled RSA in 2008.
They did so at the behest of their dying father and paid a $375,000 deposit to the RSA for the $1.9 million site with the remaining $1.525m becoming a second mortgage held by the RSA.
The brothers originally intended to embark on a $20m development of the property but their relationship with the club’s executive committee quickly soured before completely breaking down in February when members walked out.
Without a tenant, the brothers stopped making payments on the first mortgage, triggering yesterday’s mortgagee auction.
Though that result fills the club’s bank account, it could soon be empty again with Steve Crow pushing ahead with claims the RSA owes him $318,000 for costs incurred while running the club.
“We are the only ones that have taken a bath on this. We supported them for 18 months when they had nothing, so either they pay us or we look at legal avenues,” Mr Crow said yesterday.
As well as the financial loss, Auckland based Mr Crow said the events of the past 18 months had taken a heavy personal toll, especially on their mother who still lived in Inglewood and had to deal with the fallout.
“The only thing I am thankful is my dad is not around to see what has happened because if he was he would be gutted. Absolutely gutted,” Mr Crow said.
Despite auctioneer Joe Holden suggesting the new owners of the building might like to share both their identity and plans for the landmark property with the public, they seemed to decide a later date would be better for such announcements.