Lawrie Forbes outside the former McIndoe Print building in Vogel St, which he wants to transform into a cafe and homeware store. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Lawrie Forbes is at it again.
The entrepreneurial developer of historic Dunedin buildings
plans to add another major project to his portfolio, this
time rescuing a dilapidated former printer and bookbinder's
Mr Forbes will appeal to the Dunedin City Council's hearings
committee today, to grant him consent to convert the
two-storey Rogan McIndoe building at 76 Vogel St into a cafe,
restaurant and homeware store, with possible function space
The historic building sits in a large-scale retail zone, and
Mr Forbes wants to alter the facade of the building, by
painting it and adding windows and signs, as part of the
He proposes to run an activity not technically allowed in the
zone, and make changes subject to restrictions in a heritage
precinct, so must seek consent.
He said he had the support of the Historic Places Trust and
Council staff are also recommending the committee grant the
Planner Amy Young said in her report to the committee the
building was regarded by some as a significant building in a
The council had supported earlier restoration, was now
improving the streetscape and water works in the area, and
had plans for further improvements.
With the exception of residential activity, few permitted
activities would be appropriate for the building without
significant alteration and/or requiring resource consent, she
''Given the quandary associated with identifying permitted
activities that could fit within the existing fabric of the
zone, the required observance of the values associated with
the heritage precinct, and the existing corruption of the
zone, I believe there is significant difficulty in
consistently administering the large-scale retail zone at
Mr Forbes said he was excited about the project, which would
come at a time when the area was beginning to come to life
with people and businesses.
The location of the cafe, across the road from the
redeveloped Donald Reid warehouse building, which now hosted
dozens of workers, was ideal, and with the redevelopment of
the old chief post office under way the area was only going
to get livelier, he said.
His tenant, who would run the cafe and homeware store, had
moved from Christchurch after the earthquakes, he said.