'A-listers' eyed in historic house sale

Corstorphine House. Photo by the ODT.
Corstorphine House. Photo by the ODT.
It is hoped Corstorphine House's history of accommodating Royals, heads of state and Hollywood actors will help attract international ''A-listers'' when it officially goes on the market next week for $3.8 million.

In recent years, the historic 3.03ha Milburn St property has been a private home, boutique hotel and the venue of choice for celebrities such as Prince Charles, Hollywood stars Daniel Craig and Gwyneth Paltrow, Coldplay band member Chris Martin - even Sesame Street's Big Bird.

Estate agent Murray Stott said it would not be advertised locally.

''We are exploring the prospect of international interest whereby a prospective purchaser will be inclined to also invest in a business project in Dunedin.

''We are in talks with the Dunedin City Council in this regard, and have asked for their special considerations by the first week of May,'' he said.

Corstorphine House was built in 1863 for the Sidey family, and was extended into a stately home of Victorian and Edwardian architecture in 1905.

After it closed as a boutique hotel, Corstorphine House was bought by businessman Paul Facoory in 2009.

Rated as one of the top 100 homes in New Zealand, it comprises eight themed suites and three dining-drawing rooms, linked by expansive hallways.

It has New Zealand Historic Places Trust category one status and was extensively refurbished between 1999 and 2001 by former owners Nico and Irina Francken.

Mr Facoory has spent about $1 million on improvements, which include building a second residential style commercial kitchen, installing a 60kW coal burner for heating and remodelling the greenhouse into a conservatory.

The rateable capital value (July 2010) is $1,675,000.

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Anyone familiar with the conservation of historic heritage at Dunedin or indeed the minutiae of the suburb of Corstorphine knows it was the Kirkland family who brought Corstorphine House back to happy repair as a private and guest residence after applying considerable finance, love and attention.

[Abridged]

Hope for someone with vision

This is just such a fantastic place. I have put many clients here in the past and it was a league ahead of all Dunedin accommodation. A true lodge style experience. It would be great to see this resurrected as a hotel once again, I just hope the current owners didn't change the room styles. The conservatory restaurant was beautiful and would make a lovely venue as well. I hope someone with vision purchases this home.

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