Look­ing for a real baaa­gin? ewe found it

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - KELSEY WILKIE

Iconic build­ings in a South Waikato town are in need of a new owner.

The world’s big­gest cor­ru­gated iron sheep and ram build­ings in Ti­rau have been placed on the mar­ket for sale.

Build­ing cre­ators and own­ers Nancy and John Drake wanted an at­ten­tion-grab­bing fea­ture to pull the pun­ters into the wool and craft store.

The pair spent months analysing the wider Waikato re­gion dur­ing the early 1990s, in search of the per­fect place to set up Nancy Drake’s dream shop.

‘‘Pack­ing up the camper­van from the Wairarapa, we took a gam­ble on the Waikato re­gion. We spent months ob­serv­ing vis­i­tor num­bers and im­mers­ing our­selves in the lo­cal com­mu­nity be­fore de­cid­ing to pur­chase a bare sec­tion of land,’’ Nancy Drake said.

After set­tling on the idea of a themed fa­cade, they tack­led the next prob­lem – ma­te­ri­als.

Cred­ited as be­ing the largest cor­ru­gated iron sheep build­ing in the world – the sheep was the first build­ing on the site, and was ‘‘not with­out its lo­gis­ti­cal prob­lems’’, John Drake said.

‘‘From the sug­ges­tion of a young ar­chi­tect we in­ves­ti­gated cor­ru­gated iron, and luck­ily found that an ad­di­tion to what was es­sen­tially a kit­set barn could be crafted in to the body of the sheep,’’ John Drake said.

‘‘After months of trial and er­ror we cre­ated the shape of the head, and after dis­cov­er­ing we could use cor­ru­gated alu­minium to avoid un­sightly rust streak­ing, our sheep was fi­nally in the pad­dock.’’

It was an in­stant hit when it opened in 1994, with the busi­ness turn­ing over nearly $1000 a day from wool and craft cre­ations.

Oc­cu­py­ing a prime cor­ner po­si­tion on State High­way 1, the cor­ru­gated

‘‘The dis­tinc­tive build­ings oc­cupy a prime spot in Ti­rau town cen­tre.’’

iron sheep, ram and dog build­ings sit on the 2103 square me­tre site, which is of­fered for sale in a tender process clos­ing on Novem­ber 9.

The sheep, lo­cated on the south­ern cor­ner of the free­hold site, com­prises a mix­ture of ground and first floor show­room space, with a cafe and kitchen.

The ram build­ing ad­joins the sheep and was added in 2005 to in­crease show­room space and ameni­ties.

The Drakes lived above the shop floor within the sheep, which has a self-suf­fi­cient mez­za­nine level.

The sheep in Ti­rau are for sale.

The sheep build­ings in Ti­rau are up for sale

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