The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company Ltd
building in Thomas Burns St, which will be redeveloped.
More than a decade after its last tenants left, new life
will be breathed into the historic New Zealand Loan and
Mercantile Agency Company Ltd building in Dunedin.
The exterior of the category two, 1872 building will be
restored and the second floor redeveloped into a 24-unit
apartment complex if a proposed resource consent application
is approved, owner Russell Lund says.
''The building is protected so we won't alter the outside to
any great degree,'' he said.
While the proposal was a ''fairly major'' redevelopment, the
''guiding principle'' was to reveal and celebrate the
harbourside building's historic character, he said.
As well as restoration work on the outside of the building,
the proposal would include having windows cut into the second
floor of the building on its north, west and east sides.
The resource consent application also proposes the addition
of a car park at the building's north end and the demolition
of a concrete block extension built in 1965.
Mr Lund said the project had been coming for some time, but
Betterways Advisory Ltd's decision not to build a 28-storey
hotel on Wharf St created the right ''opportunity''.
''We held off for a couple of years waiting to see what was
going to happen to the hotel,'' he said.
''We supported that [project], but there's always an
opportunity when things don't happen.''
The Loan and Mercantile building had been untenanted since
1999, he said.
''You can't just have a building sitting empty indefinitely.
''We have been thinking about it [the redevelopment] for a
while, but we think the time is right.''
Dunedin City Council heritage policy planner Glen Hazelton
was pleased to learn of the proposal, but said he had not
seen a specific plan.
''It's definitely going to be great to see that building used
after such a long time ... vacant,'' he said.
Its redevelopment needed to recognise it was a ''really
important building to the Dunedin cityscape''.
The second floor would contain 11 three-bedroom units and 13
studio units aimed at the ''high-end of the market''.
Mr Lund would not disclose the cost of the proposed
redevelopment. He said it was undecided how the ground and
first floors would be used.
Work would begin ''as soon as possible if we get resource
consent,'' he said.
Mr Hazelton said until the council looked at the proposal it
would not know if the consent should be publicly notified.
Attempts to contact Heritage New Zealand last night were