A West Auckland property that had been home to popular wedding venue Cassels for more than a decade is set to be auctioned in a mortgagee sale.
The owners of Cassels on Scenic Drive in Swanson had earlier this year cancelled at least a dozen wedding bookings after finding themselves in financial difficulty.
The couples who made the bookings had all paid $1000 to secure their reservation - and earlier told the Herald they were holding out to have this paid back.
But Scott Browne, who ran the business with his wife Leigh, said, while he had hoped to repay the reservation fee to around 12 couples, he so far had been unable to because his bank had taken control of the company finances.
"Westpac has full control of the bank accounts," he said.
He said Westpac was now selling the Cassels property at an auction to be held tomorrow by Bayleys.
The 4058sq m property includes a large main building area with bar and kitchen facilities that would be ideal as a restaurant, venue or conference centre, according to the Bayleys listing.
"With a covered courtyard for al fresco dining and entertainment, this caters for all-year-round use," the listing reads.
"A lower garden with separate entrance, previously used for ceremonies, adds to the charm."
For more property news and listings go to oneroof.co.nz
The property also includes a three-bedroom home.
Browne said he had no control over the sale.
"The bank is running that process - it's an auction, I've got no idea what the outcome will be until it takes place," he said.
"I'm hopeful there might be some money comes out the other end but I've got no control over the process."
He said he expects the bank to be the primary beneficiary from the sale but hopes it generates enough money to help pay off other bills, such as repayments to those who had their weddings cancelled.
"It's really going to come down to what the property sells for," he said.
Alice Newman and her fiancé Reuben Clark, both 36, paid $1000 to book for February 16 next year.
Newman told the Herald in August she had been forced to book another wedding venue after they were told by the Brownes that Cassels was closing down.
When she asked Browne about a fee refund, he replied that it was dependent on how much money the property sold for.
Newman said the whole thing had been "really unfair".
"That's 12 thousand bucks right there if they end up selling the place and they don't have the money to pay people back.
"I don't know what their admin costs are, apart from writing our names in their diary."