Hi all, thanks for the feedback on this "story". As some have twigged it's been put up in honour of today - April 1.
If you look closely there are some clear clues in the story.
Loof Lirpa is, of course, April Fool in reverse, while Aprilscherz is German for April fool joke. And if you look really closely you will see that the first letter of each paragraph spells APRIL FOOLS DAY.
We're happy to see it brought some fun in to some readers' day and hope it didn't upset anybody.
Cheers, Mike Dinsdale, Chief Reporter.
Harbour Board building for sale
A frustrated Whangarei District Council has decided to put the former Harbour Board building at the Town Basin up for sale to end the controversy over what to do with the building.
Property experts Loof Lirpa have listed the building, which also once housed the Northland Regional Council, for sale on international websites with a multi-million dollar price tag.
Real estate agents spoken to by the Northern Advocate say the sale will scupper any plans to turn the building into either the Harbourside or Hundertwasser and Wairau Maori Art Centre proposals.
It had been planed to send both proposals, and a third to demolish the buildings, out for a binding referendum in June, but a sale could stop the vote.
Last week the council secretly voted to instead put the building up for sale, in the hope that a buyer would have another idea for the building it bought in May, 2003, for $2.2 million.
Four companies are understood to have already made inquiries about buying the building, with one option to turn it into top class hotel and boutique brewery.
One of the company's, Austrian hospitality and hotel firm Aprilscherz said it had been following the debate over what to do with the building keenly and had decided to make its own move to buy it.
Over the past few months it had decided to make and offer, prompting the council to put it out on the open market to see if it could generate any other interest.
Less than a day after putting the building up for sale, interest started flooding in from around the world, and it's hoped a truly world-class idea to attract tourists and excite locals will come from the sale process.
Such a proposal would then not have to go to the council for approval as the zoning of the area means any successful purchaser cold pretty much do as they like, within the zoning rules.
Despite the controversy surrounding the building an Aprilscherz spokesman said his company's plan had the potential to unite the whole district and would bring in international visitors and possibly include a conference centre.
"Any body who sees our plans, should we be successful in buying the building, will immediately see the great potential we see in Whangarei and why we want to move into the city.
"We can't reveal those plans at this stage, as we do not want any potential competitor for the site to see them, but they will certainly excite your people," he said.
Yesterday, the WDC declined to comment on the proposed sale.