The amalgamated Hastings RSA and Heretaunga Club has big plans, extending its footprint to half the block at Heretaunga's Hastings site.
Last year the RSA accepted a $3.3 million offer for its present site on Avenue Rd West from its Countdown supermarket neighbour. It planned to move to a renovated Heretaunga Club nearby, for its more-than 3000 members.
Heretaunga members voted to amalgamate due to declining revenue, thanks to reduced patronage from its 553 members, including 120 members of the adjunct Bowls Heretaunga club.
"The original idea of amalgamation was to renovate this building but the architects said, at the end of it all, you still have an old building," Heretaunga Club committee member Dave Porteous said.
The new building would be built alongside the existing outdoor bowling green and the current club building site would become a car park.
Neighbouring properties have been purchased, including Max Scott Motors on the corner of Albert and Hastings streets. The business is moving to the nearby Angus McMillan Concrete building.
The club car park, on the corner of Victoria and Warren streets, was still for sale, unwanted because it was across a road.
Mr Porteous said the bulk of Heretaunga members voted for the amalgamation but the president and vice-president were not among them - the committee had a 4/3 split.
"The majority of us, particularly the bowlers, think it is a very good idea. We weren't in a position to continue - it was either close or amalgamate," Mr Porteous said.
Bowls Heretaunga's indoor bowling complex, considered one of the best in New Zealand, will remain.
Heretaunga chattels were sold at auction on Saturday, including 18 gaming machines, bases and chairs. The primary revenue-gathering devices sold for about $100 each and can only be used in a private capacity due to sinking-lid gaming laws.
Hundreds attended the 400-lot auction, that included billiard tables and honours boards, conducted by Kauri House Auctions.
Mr Porteous said plans for the new complex would soon be on display.
The RSA was due to vacate its premises by March 2016, but because construction could start while demolition was in progress, members would not be homeless "but it is going to be a bit tight".
The building contract was about to go to tender and a demolition consent applied for, to start next month.
Club Hastings Incorporated would be the name of the new entity, bringing together the Heretaunga, Bowls Heretaunga, Hastings RSA and Hibernian clubs. The Hibernian amalgamated with Hastings RSA last year, giving Hastings RSA the maximum legal number of 30 pokie machines.