Newcomers float riverside rebirth at Franklin

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An artist’s impression of the Krynens’ $5.5 million vision for apple sheds at Franklin. Picture: SUPPLIED

An artist’s impression of the Krynens’ $5.5 million vision for apple sheds at Franklin. Picture: SUPPLIED

A  FORMER Queensland bus­inessman is leading the ­resurgence of his new home town, Franklin, with plans for a $5.5 million hotel and museum designed by the architects behind Pumphouse Point.

Martin Krynen, 81, has plans for a 22-room hotel, heritage museum, cafe, micro­brewery and retail tenancies in refurbished buildings on the historic Franklin Evaporators site.

Mr Krynen has hired Cumulus Studio, the team behind Pumphouse Point and the Cradle Mountain Master Plan, to design the project.

The wooden boat enthusiast and former waste-equipment manufacturer moved from Noosa with wife, Judy, just 18 months ago.

But, already he has bankrolled Franklin’s major drawcard, its Wooden Boat Centre.

His latest idea came in a moment of “youthful exuberance”, Netherlands-born Mr Krynen said.

“We were looking at Franklin and we really like the resurgence.

“We used to drive past the shed every day and we’d say to each other, ‘Somebody should redevelop that.’ It’s right beside the river, it’s in the middle of town.”

Former Queenslanders Judy Krynen and husband Martin at the riverside apple sheds at Franklin. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE

The Krynens’ love for the Huon Valley is tied to their love of wooden boats.

Mr Krynen spent five years restoring Huon-pine steamboat the Nancy, regularly travelling south to the Wooden Boat Festival. He has three steamboats he hopes can be part of the new development.

Australia’s oldest rowing boat, the Admiral, could also be displayed in the museum.

“It’s sitting somewhere in an apple shed and they’ve asked for a space to display it,” Mr Krynen said.

“What we really want to do is give people something else to look at in Franklin.

“We’ll just try and improve it and create a few jobs and quietly go on our retired way again.”

Franklin’s riverside charm is being recognised with an influx of artists and the opening of new eateries.

The old apple-peeling machines at the site still work. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE

Franklin History Group president Alan Cato said community organisations were supporting the town’s new resident and his proposal. “Franklin badly needs accommodation because it means people would stay longer in the valley,” Mr Cato said.

“It’s all very positive.”

Franklin Evaporators began operating in 1898 and was run by the same family until the early 2000s.

Its sheds were used to dry apples and plums and make juice sold to Cascade.

Architect Peter Walker said Mr Krynen had been inspired by Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, another of the firm’s projects.

“We like the idea of using the existing shed buildings in a way that reveals the history and stories of the site to visitors while new uses, such as the cafe, microbrewery and hotel, are clearly contemporary insertions,” he said.


Source : The Age

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