Facelift to give new life to historic building
A century-old building integral to Mt Eden’s past is about to get a facelift.
Work is under way to earthquake strengthen and renovate Nesfield House, at 62-64 Valley Rd, to create six residential apartments.
The scheduled Heritage B building is made up of the former Mt Eden Borough Council chambers, built in 1912, and the Mt Eden Fire Station which was added in 1925. Diabetes Auckland sold the site to WJ Investments late last year for an undisclosed sum.
A resource consent showing plans to renovate the existing structure and turn it into apartments has been granted by the council.
And the end result should be a community gem, director Warwick Goldsmith says.
He refuses to say how much the company will look to sell the six apartments for when they are complete by the end of 2015.
The site’s 2014 capital value is $2.4 million – up from $2m in 2011.
‘‘The buildings have had close to 100 years, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have another hundred. I think it’s a value to any community to preserve as much of its heritage as it can.
‘‘Particularly in the current climate, that’s a bit anti-heritage buildings.’’
Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes says the renovation will secure the building’s future.
The work will also bring the buildings closer to their original heritage, he says.
‘‘We should be enjoying these heritage buildings for a long time to come. They’re dear to everyone’s heart.’’
The project should be a lesson to other historic building owners, heritage architect Jackie Gillies says.
The number of old New Zealand buildings that could be lost because of the perceived difficulty of earthquake strengthening is a real concern, she says.
‘‘This project is really going against something of a tide of unsympathetic feelings towards historic buildings because of the earthquake strengthening issue.
‘‘So many historic buildings will be lost in the next generation and a success story like this is really important to celebrate.’’
Jennifer Hanson of A Studio Architects says a lot of the design work celebrates the building’s history.
The team is hoping to get the building consent approved within a month so construction can start in early 2015, she says.
‘‘At the moment we’re stripping it all back to the original bones so we can see what’s there.’’
The more recent additions, including a 1970s link between the buildings, internal partitions and the car parking area, were demolished as part of the seismic upgrading.
A council spokesman says the demolition work was fully supported by council heritage specialists.
‘‘Auckland Council believes the project represents a good solution to earthquake strengthening and fully utilising a heritage building,’’ he says.
New look: Six apartments will grace the heritage building by the end of 2015.
The Mt Eden Fire Station was built in 1925.
Prime spot: Nesfield House, on the busy corner of Valley Rd, is being earthquake strengthened and renovated.