DORMANT for more than 20 years, the old Newhaven Boys Home is undergoing a massive redevelopment to be turned into a five-star hotel with 14 rooms, wedding facilities, 25m pool, restaurant, and more.
Estimated to cost around $3m and be completed by this Christmas, site manager Jane Weng is committed to maintaining the original character of the buildings.
“It’s no easy task, but we want to develop the site to enhancing its character,” Jane said.
Jane says that the yet to be completed masterplan will include a 25m pool, 14-room five-star hotel, wedding facilities, café, restaurant, bar, medical clinic, staff quarters, and tennis courts. And that’s just stage one.
“We have been doing developments for 20 years. They have progressed over the years and we are very excited to put Newhaven on the map here,” she said.
The developing group is made up of 10 parties, Jane said, and the project has been named ‘Phillip Island International’.
“We all have our own individual expertise and will each play a part in the development and the function of the site once completed,” Jane said.
But Jane said they were also keen to hear from the community.
“We would love to see early photos of the buildings. We have heard from families who were married in the chapel and are chasing era photos,” she said.
And Jane’s ambition isn’t limited to the vintage character. She didn’t discredit the graffiti inside the church.
“This is fine art. Perhaps we will have a bar that works around this piece,” Jane indicated for one of the more elaborate pieces at the focal point of the church.
Jane understood the mountainous task and believes work is progressing well.
“We have 10 tradespeople here most days, we are trying to employ local as much as we can.”
Once completed, the multi-serving complex will employ around 30 people, who Jane assures will be locals.