Affordable homes developer plans inner city apartments

The former Trustee Executors building on the corner of Bond and Water Sts is to be developed into...
The former Trustee Executors building on the corner of Bond and Water Sts is to be developed into residential apartments. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
A developer who hopes to create more than 60 affordable houses in Dunedin is in talks to turn a 150-year-old heritage building into residential apartments.

Roger Fewtrell said he had bought the former Trustees Executors building on the corner of Bond, Water and Crawford Sts last week.

The building, which was built in 1873 and housed Trustees Executors in Dunedin from 1906 to last year, would eventually be turned into eight apartments, he said.

"I’ve spoken to the council about my plans, and I will be in touch with Heritage New Zealand as we progress.

"I intend to keep the frontage and develop the building so it’s suitable for modern apartment living.

"I’m quite excited about this."

The building is identified by the Dunedin City Council as a scheduled heritage building and is near other heritage buildings such as the former Chief Post Office and the former Union Steamship Company buildings.

Southern Heritage Trust chairwoman Jo Galer said she was pleased to hear about Mr Fewtrell’s plans.

"It’s good news for the city.

"These buildings are part of our social history, and I’m pleased someone has purchased it with the intention of reusing it."

This is not Mr Fewtrell’s only plans for reusing heritage in the city — he also plans to turn a historic former furniture factory in Rattray St into a four-apartment complex.

Mr Fewtrell also confirmed he had recently received resource consent for the staged subdivision and development of the land at 50 Leicester St in North East Valley for up to 19 individual homes.

"It’s good to get this bit ticked off.

"It’s been fun so far."

Once the council successfully put the infrastructure works out to tender and completed that process, he hoped building of the houses would start shortly afterwards.

"I’d like to get the building of the homes under way by the middle of the year, all things going to plan.

"These things take their time, but it’s been a good journey so far."

The price range for the homes was likely to be between $500,000 and $700,000, Mr Fewtrell has said previously.

According to QV, the average house price in Dunedin is $627,300.

The former owner of Southern Hospitality went public earlier last month with his plans for affordable homes in Mosgiel, North East Valley, Rattray St, Russell St, Vauxhall and Kaikorai Valley.

He also had plans for properties in Waverley.

Mr Fewtrell has said he would "vet" the applicants for the homes, to ensure there was a good mix of people, and that there would be a focus on first-time home buyers.

All told, he hoped to develop more than 60 affordable homes in the city.

"The odd person has contacted me expressing an interest in the homes, and I’ve had people suggesting land for me.

"I’ve had a really good response to this."

Mr Fewtrell co-founded Southern Hospitality in 1989 and the supplier to the hospitality and food service industry grew to have 12 showrooms nationwide.

It was bought by Australian firm Reward Supply Co last year.