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Last week, the council announced it was open to expressions on interest for the century-old brick building.
Port Chalmers resident Bill Brown said he supported the council's plan but it needed to reinstall the roof which was removed last year, exposing the building to the elements.
''It was virtually the start of a demolition process on a historical building which should have never been done and I hope they've now acknowledged it's a building worth protecting .''
Mr Brown said he understood why the roof needed to be removed, but it should not have been done so quickly.
He was confident a community use for the building would be found.
''Hopefully it will arouse some interest in the building and the importance of retaining a significant part of Dunedin and Port Chalmers maritime history.''
Last week council infrastructure and networks acting general manager Leanne Mash said if a use for the building was likely to take two or three years to come to fruition, the council would consider some type of temporary roofing.
But no council money would be made available for the building's restoration, as no strategic use for the building had been identified, Ms Mash said.
Council property manager said David Bainbridge when asbestos was identified as an hazard, an operational decision was made to remove it.
Timber from the roof was contaminated and was disposed of with the asbestos sheeting, Mr Bainbridge said.
The work cost $215,000.