Bayleys Dunedin real estate agent Robin Hyndman is trying
to attract the attention of potential buyers for the Bell Tea Building. Photo by Dan Hutchinson
Bell Tea has shifted all its operations to Auckland and now
its familiar Dunedin building is up for sale.
Bell Tea financial controller David McKeown said all four of
its buildings - one in Dunedin and three in Auckland - had
been put on the market.
The company stopped packaging tea in Dunedin earlier this
year but is still processing in Auckland and will lease its
buildings there once they have been sold.
Bayleys Dunedin real estate agent Robin Hyndman said the sale
of the 90-year-old building was a ''commentary of what has
happened to so much of Dunedin''.
''When this building was built in 1924, Bell Tea would have
been packaging tea in there and employing people and they
would have been selling the tea all around the country and
then all the money would have been coming back.
''Seventy years goes by and the worm has turned and all the
money is up in Auckland and there is nothing down here.''
He said the obvious use for the building was as apartments
and there had been some interest since it was listed at the
beginning of this week.
The reason Bell gave for shifting its processing and 10 jobs
from the building was that it needed earthquake strengthening
and other work done, estimated to cost $1 million.
Mr Hyndman said that over the past few years, many people had
taken on some of Dunedin's ''challenging buildings'' and
turned them around.
He said it had to make sense and the amount of money that
could be spent buying and fixing the building would be
determined by how much people were prepared to pay for the
The building has been cleared of almost everything, although
a very large blender is still there and the smell of tea
leaves still lingers in the air.
- by Dan Hutchinson