ONCE a hospital, then a nursing home, Toora’s Prom View Lodge has been given a new lease of life, with the finalisation of the sale of the prominently situated property. The new owners plan to renovate and then let out the building, which boasts a spectacular view of Corner Inlet, for short-term stays for large groups of holidaymakers.
Settlement comes almost 12 months after residents moved out of the nursing home to join Banksia Lodge residents in a brand new facility, ‘Prom Country House,’ in Foster.
The chief executive officer of Prom Country Aged Care, Rhett McLennan, said he was very pleased to have the property sold and delighted with the plans the new owners have for it.
Melbourne businessman Brenton Reeves, who has bought the property with his wife, Nancy, said he hopes to enjoy family holidays at the lodge, with his own family of four children and his extended family, as well as letting it out to special interest groups, such as fishing clubs, sporting clubs or church groups.
“It’s in a great location, on just over an acre, with plenty of parking behind it. It’s handy to some great beaches and fishing spots, as well as the Prom, of course, and Agnes Falls,” said the excited new owner.
He expects it will take roughly a year for the building, which was first opened as a hospital in 1933, to be ready for paying guests. The many locals who feel a strong attachment to it will, however, be relieved to know that any changes are likely to be fairly superficial. “We won’t be knocking out any walls!” said Mr Reeves.
“I’m very conscious of the history of the building. I’d like to delve into it further. I know that in 15 years or so there will be a centenary. I hope to hang onto it for at least that long!”
‘Prom View Lodge’ is, he said, in good condition and quite habitable, but needs to be more “homey,” with less of an industrial feel, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. Carpet, tiles and paint are some of the main requirements.
The accommodation the building provides is certainly generous. At last count there were eighteen good-sized bedrooms and nine full bathrooms, as well as several utility rooms which Mr Reeves expects to convert to bedrooms. “If it works the way we envisage, we would hope to have between 30 and 40 people staying there at a time in 20 to 24 bedrooms – 24 at most.”
Over the next few months Mr Reeves plans to get in touch with local tradespeople to make a start on what he regards as a good investment for his family and an exciting new project.