Island organisations are waiting with bated breath to find out whether their applications to lease the recently renovated Old Surfdale Post Office are accepted. Opportunities to lease a public space for just $1 rarely arise, and at the local board meeting last week, a decision on the lease was deferred for another month.
Representatives of two groups spoke at the meeting including Waiheke Connect, whose application was on the agenda, and the Waiheke Hope Centre, whose application was not included. Two other proposals to lease the Hamilton Road premises were also submitted earlier in the year but council staff say their applications didn’t meet all of the criteria.
At the board meeting, Sophie Poelman and Emily King of Waiheke Connect, a network of around 90 professionals, said they would like to run it as a vibrant business hub in the heart of Surfdale – somewhere for people to co-work and share ideas.
“There is a need for a place to offer support and guidance for businesses struggling in the aftermath of Covid-19,” Sophie told board members.
“There are many small businesses on Waiheke that may need to close or pivot completely and we want to support and nurture these local business owners.”
Sophie and Emily say Waiheke Connect would be open to working with other community members and groups who would like to operate out of the business hub.