Iconic land­mark up for sale again

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

One of the most iconic build­ings in Auck­land is on the mar­ket - and it’s set to go for a hefty price.

The 102-year-old for­mer Pon­sonby Post Of­fice on the cor­ner of St Marys Rd and Col­lege Hill was put up for sale this month.

Real es­tate agents are ex­pect­ing it to go for more than $5 mil­lion when ten­ders close on Novem­ber 27.

It is the sec­ond time it has been up for grabs in 18 months, with the cap­i­tal value jumping almost $1m in that time. It is now val­ued at $4.7m.

St Marys Bay As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Tony Skel­ton says it is an in­te­gral part of the neigh­bour­hood.

He has lived in the area for more than 40 years and re­mem­bers when it was a fully-fledged post of­fice.

‘‘I would put it in the same cat­e­gory as the Ferry Build­ing, the Civic The­atre and even, dare I say it, the Auck­land Town Hall. I would be very keen to make sure that it stays as it is.’’

The post of­fice was con­structed in 1912 and the clock was added a year later with fund­ing from Pon­sonby res­i­dents. The build­ing has been re­stored and is on the her­itage list with an A-grade seis­mic rat­ing.

And it comes with a colour­ful his­tory - in 1920 the post­mas­ter was shot in an in­ter­na­tion­ally in­fa­mous mur­der.

Herne Bay Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion chair­woman Chris­tine Ca­vanagh says the new owner will have to embrace the his­tory and spe­cial character of the area.

‘‘You couldn’t pos­si­bly not have the post of­fice build­ing there. It’s in­te­gral to the his­tory and the her­itage of the area.’’

Pon­sonby Business As­so­ci­a­tion’s Vivi­enne Rosenberg says she would love to see a business or owner that stays long-term, es­pe­cially one that will light up the build­ing at night.

‘‘We’re look­ing for­ward to help­ing a new owner or ten­ant to write the next chap­ter in Pon­sonby.’’

Ray White Com­mer­cial man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Bruce Whillans says the build­ing came on to the mar­ket after the Bel­gian Beer Cafe ended its lease this year after 10 years on the ground floor of the build­ing.

The over­seas-based owner de­cided it was a good time to sell, Whillans says.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously it’s an iconic build­ing on a strong cor­ner lo­ca­tion. The in­ter­est has been re­ally good.’’

Her­itage sale: The for­mer Pon­sonby post of­fice build­ing is up for grabs for the sec­ond time in 18 months.

Photo: SIR GEORGE GREY SPE­CIAL COL­LEC­TIONS, AUCK­LAND LI­BRARIES

Old days: The post of­fice in 1924.

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