'Phenomenal' interest in Dunedin apartments

The Crown Roller Mills building. Photo from ODT Files
The Crown Roller Mills building. Photo from ODT Files
Potential buyers of luxury apartments in a redeveloped Victorian-era Dunedin factory seem to have been "waiting for years" for such a development to come on to the market, Dunedin real estate agent Peter Booth says.

Mr Booth's company, Bayleys, is marketing the 12 apartments in the Crown Roller Mills building in Manor Pl.

Since they were first advertised two weeks ago, the interest had been "phenomenal", he said, with much of the interest coming from Dunedin residents.

"A common comment from people is that they have been waiting for years for an apartment to come on the market which they would want to live in. They have been blown away by the quality."

Several were already under offer, he said. He would not be drawn on how many several was.

The apartments range in size from a 100sq m, one-bedroom space to the four-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-level penthouse which, at 341sq m, Mr Booth said was larger than most houses.

Collectively, the asking price is $4.77 million. The penthouse is for sale for $950,000.

The building is owned by Christchurch company Cit Investments (CM) Ltd. The company was an investment group involving people from Christchurch and Dunedin, sole director, Christchurch chartered accountant Wayne Bailey, said.

The group was "proud to be involved with an iconic building of such high quality and appreciates the excellent public support received to date," he said in a statement, referring further comment to Mr Booth.

Mr Booth said he was not surprised at the interest in the apartments.

His company had been managing the leases on the apartments for about 18 months and there had been almost 100% occupancy, he said. Some had been leased by individuals and others by companies.

Some potential purchasers were considering leasing an apartment out rather than living in it themselves, he said.


Crown Roller Mills

• 1867: Original three-storey building of brick and Oamaru stone built to house a steam-driven mill to grind grain into flour.
• 1878: Building extended.
• 1890: Building extended further; fifth floor added; millstones replaced with steel rollers.
• 1984: Building given category I New Zealand Historic Places Trust classification.
• 1997: Owners Goodman Fielder close mill and shift production to Timaru and Christchurch; some plant sold, the rest scrapped; building sold toDunedin business consortium.
• 2003: Building sold to developer Ian Lisk, who begins total refurbishment. Restaurant, bar and function room created on ground floor and 12 apartments on upper floors; central chimney shaft redeveloped into an atrium with stairs, balconies and a lift; apartments available for lease; New Zealand Historic Places Trust welcomes development as commercially viable way of securing the long-term future of an important historical building.
• 2006: Refurbishment complete


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