REVIVAL PLANS: Upgrades are on the way for the Freemasons Hotel.
REVIVAL PLANS: Upgrades are on the way for the Freemasons Hotel. Scott Kovacevic

What's going on at the Freemasons Hotel?

THE historic and long-vacant Freemasons Hotel is getting an overhaul with plans in place to transform it into a mixed-use business centre.

The plan is for the century-old building to be internally divided for offices, shops and a food and drink outlet. Their use is to be flexible and dependant on demand.

The building's exterior will stay the same except for the removal of the smoker's deck on Reef St. Inside, the second-floor caretaker's accommodation is to remain.

New paint at the Freemasons on Channon St Gympie
New paint at the Freemasons on Channon St Gympie Scott Kovacevic

The drive-through bottle shop is to be refitted to secure undercover parking to help alleviate the site's biggest problem, with development group Plansmart saying it was impossible to establish the exact number of off-street parking spots given the building existed long before cars did.

A parking study by independent group Contour found the proposed 25 spots was the most the site could provide.

New paint at the Freemasons on Channon St Gympie
New paint at the Freemasons on Channon St Gympie Scott Kovacevic

Plansmart said this should be reasonable given the building's age, and there was precedent. "... approval for a similar conversion of the former Commercial Hotel opposite the development site some eight years ago attracted a requirement of only seven car parking spaces...”.

The application was green lit by the Gympie Regional Council through delegation last month.