New owners for historic Cranmer Square buildings

The two heritage-listed colonial era properties on Cranmer Square have new owners. Photo: Supplied
The two heritage-listed colonial era properties on Cranmer Square have new owners. Photo: Supplied
Two heritage-listed, colonial-era properties on Cranmer Square have been sold - and their future appears secure as an enduring reminder of yesteryear.

Both properties were auctioned ‘as is where is’ on February 15 and sold for a combined $900,000.

Although developers were keen when the wooden dwellings at 38 and 40 Cranmer Square were put on the market, interest waned when made aware of their protected status with the city council.

“They soon realised they were heritage buildings so they’ll likely be there for a long time,” said Harcourts Grenadier real estate agent Jonny Nicholls.

Readily identifiable to those who drive or walk past the inner city green space, the two-storey house at the corner of Cranmer Square and Kilmore St used to serve as the unofficial tuckshop for the adjacent Christchurch Normal School, a Gothic-style building demolished after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Under the city council’s district plan, the three-bedroom house built in the 1870s holds high heritage and cultural significance as an example of a former way of life for 19th-century retailers in Christchurch.

The older twin-gabled cottage at No 38 also has high heritage significance as one of the earliest remaining inner-city houses. It was constructed in 1859.

The latest rateable value for the old tuckshop was $560,000 in August 2022; the cottage was listed at $530,000.

If either of the new owners sought to demolish their property in future and develop the site they would require resource consent from the city council.

Nicholls said one property was likely to be rented and the other owner-occupied “when the time is right”.

While his recent listings attracted national and international attention, Nicholls said these properties principally piqued local interest.

“It soon became apparent someone was going to buy these out of love and those buyers were largely locals who had always held an interest in the properties.”