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The first step in restoring what is believed to be New Zealand's first indoor shopping mall is expected to start later this year with repairs to the roof of Waimate's historic Quinn's Arcade.
The restoration of the two-storey brick building, which stretches between Grigson and High Sts, is being undertaken by Pro-Ject Waimate and could cost between $1 million and $1.5 million.
Pro-Ject Waimate co-ordinator Sheryl Frew said a grant from the Lottery Board's environment and heritage fund meant the roof could be repaired, making the building waterproof.
The next step would be raising about $150,000 to complete detailed planning and costing and obtain resource consents from the Waimate District Council.
Pro-Ject Waimate, the community economic development group, bought Quinn's Arcade for $120,000 in 2008.
It envisages redeveloping it in a way that reflects its history, creating a multi-purpose building.
Miss Frew said repairing the roof, which still had its original galvanised iron, was a priority in its redevelopment.
As much of the original roof as possible would be retained.
The next step would be replacing missing glass, particularly in the large panels on the frontage to both streets.
Pro-Ject Waimate plans to meet its architect shortly to establish the further priorities and obtain an accurate cost estimate for all the work.
It is also planning fundraising events to meet the cost of the resource consents process.
These include promotional events, an Irish concert next month, possibly a winter dance and an open day at the arcade if tenants agree.
The arcade was built between 1905 and 1907 by Makikihi businessman and farmer William Quinn.
It contains 296,970 bricks from his brickworks.