SIMON O’CONNOR / Stuff
New plans have emerged to turn a building in downtown New Plymouth into a strip bar and brothel. The building has been barricaded since December 2021, when it was condemned.
The New Plymouth owner of an online adult sex toy business plans to open a brothel across from his only physical store in a condemned building whose last tenant tried to do the same before being evicted.
Businessman Andre Craig has applied for a license for 53 Devon St East, which is almost directly opposite his Nauti NZ store in New Plymouth, where he sells adult products including sex toys and lingerie.
Craig is also the director of Fever Entertainment Ltd, the company that applied for the license from New Plymouth District Council (NPDC).
In his application, Craig describes the main activity on the site as “adult entertainment, including but not limited to exotic dancing, escort services, brothel” when there would be also the “sale of adult entertainment activities”.
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Food would be available as a condition of the license, although it would be limited to bar snacks like sausage rolls.
To explain the type of entertainment that would be provided, Craig said in the application that there would be exotic dancing between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m., but no loud crowds. He wants to sell or supply alcohol from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., seven days a week.
Anyone objecting to Craig’s request may do so within 15 business days of his public notification.
Craig had “no comment” to make when contacted Monday about the bid and would not answer questions about the condition of the building or when it proposed to open.
The property has been at the center of a long-running dispute between its owner Rafad Alsaloom and former tenant Denys Taylor, who also wanted to run a strip club and brothel from the site.
It was convicted by council in December last year, when it was convicted and a notice warning it was a ‘dangerous, affected or unsanitary building’ and ‘no one may enter in the building for commercial or residential purposes” displayed on its door.
Taylor was also evicted and later ordered to pay Alsaloom tens of thousands of dollars in back rent and fees by Judge Peter Churchman after their dispute ended up in the High Court.
Alsaloom had been trying to deport Taylor since April 2021.
Taylor had bought the former New Plymouth strip club The Crave in 2018 and successfully applied for a liquor license in late 2019 for the Devon St East premises.
In the license application, he described the business as a nightclub, strip club and bar. He previously said Things he planned to turn the upper floors of the building into a brothel.
Taylor didn’t open the bar until mid-2020 and operated for three consecutive months, and on other random occasions.
It had been closed for the two months before the April eviction.
Before briefly being a strip club, it was the site of New Zealand’s first Bubble Waffle food outlet.