Former bookstore building to go

The Great King St, Dunedin building that once housed Scribes Second Hand Books is being reduced...
The Great King St, Dunedin building that once housed Scribes Second Hand Books is being reduced to rubble. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
An apartment block looks set to replace a Dunedin literary institution and former party house.

Demolition work has begun on a Great King St building that, for three decades, housed Scribes Second Hand Books.

Developer Tony Tan said he bought the building shortly after lockdown last year.

He got engineers in to assess the building, but what they found was disheartening.

"It was in really, really bad shape," he said.

Walls were slanted, wonky and cracking, and there were mushrooms "the size of your palm" growing inside.

An artist’s impression, included in a demolition consent application, of a proposed new apartment...
An artist’s impression, included in a demolition consent application, of a proposed new apartment building in Great King St. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
It was sad to have to knock the building over, but there was little other choice, he said.

In its place he was planning some central city accommodation.

A demolition consent application lodged with the Dunedin City Council shows plans for a new building containing 10 apartments, with a communal rooftop garden and a ground floor commercial premises.

Mr Tan said he was also hoping to include a heritage element to the project.

Scribes closed at the end of last year, after catering to Dunedin’s bookworms for 30 years.

Before Scribes set up shop, the building was home to a party flat known as "The Shambles".

It was featured in a book about well-known Dunedin student flats.

Demolition was expected to take about a week.

daisy.hudson@odt.co.nz

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