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Concrete panels on the side of the prominent Exchange building facing Queens Gardens have been painted white, and window frames are now black.
Eventually, that colour palate will be spread to the entire building, changing it from its natural grey colour.
Dunedin businessman and John Wickliffe House co-owner Tony Offen said the scope of the work required the scaffolding of each face to allow close inspection and repair of all concrete panels showing signs of deterioration.
Following repairs, a painted finish would be applied to all panels, external window joinery, vertical fins, soffits and pre-cast panels.
The project would take two to three years.
Initial plans were rejected by the Dunedin City Council in 2014.
At that point, the plan was to paint the building black, but a council planner said this would be inappropriate for the building's architecture and setting.
The decision was appealed to the Environment Court, and in May 2016, Judge J.R. Jackson granted the resource consent to make the repairs as proposed and to apply a painted finish within certain palettes.
Mr Offen said he was pleased to be able to ''get on with the work''.
''It is significant investment for the building, and the Exchange area. We remain hopeful that the council will prioritise its plans for revitalising the Exchange Plaza within the near future.
''It is a popular area with significant and growing commercial activity. The Exchange Plaza does deserve a higher priority.''