WHAT do you do when you run out of space to display a world-class motorcycle collection? Easy – expand into the neighbouring building.
And so it is that the Classic Motorcycle Mecca attraction will not only be housed in the former H&J Smith Outdoor World building in Tay St, but in the former Players nightclub building next door as well.
Both buildings are being renovated in time for the attraction to open for the Burt Munro Challenge in November.
The collection, which includes almost 300 motorbikes ranging in age from vintage to contemporary, plus dozens of motorcycle-themed artworks and display fixtures and fittings, was purchased earlier this year from its Nelson owner by Scott and Jocelyn ‘Donnell for an undisclosed price.
Mrs O’Donnell is a director of HW Richardson Group (HWR), which has developed Bill Richardson Transport World further east on Tay St, and is the late Bill Richardson’s daughter.
HWR property manager Sue Hill said it had been planned to show the collection over two floors of the former Outdoor World building.
Renovations were well under way when it was decided the building would be too small to display the bikes and artworks to their full potential.
HWR also owned the Players building next door, so the decision was made to expand.
As well as more exhibition space, a main entrance and a cafe would be created in the Players building, she said.
“We wanted to add a cafe, as serving great food and beverages had become such a big part of the experience at Bill Richardson Transport World.”
Mash Catering, which is the leaseholder for The Grille cafe at Transport World, would run the new inner-city cafe, to be known as Meccaspresso, she said.
Ms Hill said the renovation of the former Outdoor World building was almost completed and work was progressing quickly in the Players building.
Although of different styles and from different eras, a lot of work was going in to reuse and repurpose original materials and create “unique and interesting spaces”, she said.