New owner to restore hotel to former glory

The British Hotel following the earthquake repairs. Photo: Star News
The British Hotel following the earthquake repairs. Photo: Star News
Prominent Lyttelton building, the British Hotel, has a new owner and he plans to restore it to its original status.

Roland Logan purchased the building from previous owners Rebecca Lovell-Smith and Christian Carruthers in an as-is, where-is condition.

Work on restoring the 1940s building will begin straight away. It will be completed in two stages, with stage one involving the reinstating of the parapet, new roof and guttering and the replacement of glass on the top floor.

The entrance to the British Hotel. Photo: Star News
The entrance to the British Hotel. Photo: Star News
The second stage will require consents and involve some redesign, fire upgrades, toilets in the basement and earthquake strengthening.

Logan said the restoration project was well worth doing and he wanted to reinstate the building to how it once was.

This would include restoring the five hotel rooms upstairs.

The British Hotel before it was rebuilt in the 1940s. Photo: Supplied
The British Hotel before it was rebuilt in the 1940s. Photo: Supplied
He and some mates would work on stage one, which is expected to take three months. He hopes to have the project wrapped up entirely by early next year.

Logan said he is a "hands-on" person who didn’t consider himself to be a businessman as such, but rather a supporter of heritage.

"I am frustrated by the way heritage is largely ignored in this country and I want to do my bit to preserve something here."

Another reason he is taking on the project is because he has been denied permission to move the centrally-located NG building on Madras St in Christchurch to a new site for restoration.

The British Hotel. Photo: Supplied
The British Hotel. Photo: Supplied
Instead that building will now be demolished to make way for Christchurch’s new stadium.

"In some ways this purchase is my consolation for not being able to tackle the other project," he said.

The British Hotel is on the corner of Gladstone Quay and Oxford St and is one of just a handful of old commercial buildings remaining in Lyttelton since the quakes.

The main bar. Photo: File image
The main bar. Photo: File image
It currently houses The Basement bar, shops and a tattoo parlour. Tenancy leases remain in place.

The brick building was built to replace the original Richardson’s British Hotel and has a rating valuation of $385,000.

Logan did not want to reveal what he paid for the building or what he intends spending to restore it.

-By Mick Jensen

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