Heritage Christchurch CBD building for tender

9:19 AM Wednesday November 11, 2015 Colin Taylor

The Georgian Revival building in Victoria Square was built in 1926.

The National Bank heritage building,opposite Victoria Square in the Christchurch CBD, is being sold with its insurance proceeds in place.

Owned by The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust, the Georgian Revival building at 779 Colombo St, was built in 1926 and has a Category Two heritage listing.

Investment sales specialists Courtney Doig and Paul Vining of Colliers International are marketing the building on behalf of the Trust, with tenders closing December 2.

Vining says the trustees want to focus on the conservation and wildlife activities carried out at Peacock Springs which is located at the Isaac Harewood property. The trust was set up primarily for the study, protection and breeding of native flora and fauna.

“The trustees do not own any other buildings in the CBD and are not property developers,” Vining says. “They just don’t have the required expertise readily available, nor the mandate to complete a project of this nature. It’s far better to leave it to people with the ability to redevelop the building and, at the same time, preserve its historic and aesthetic character.  They are confident that all the required covenants are in place to ensure that future owners will preserve the building.”

The late Diana Lady Isaac bought the building in early 1999. In later years the ground, mezzanine, first and second floors were leased to the then National Bank and the top floor was an apartment.

She liked the building and thought that the best way to preserve it was to buy it. In 2002 she entered into a Conservation Covenant with the Christchurch City Council so that the building would be preserved in perpetuity (under the Section 77 of the Reserves Act 1977).

This covenant is enforceable against all succeeding owners of the building under section 77(4) of the Reserves Act 1977.

 “The building has, understandably, sustained earthquake damage but has indemnity insurance and will be sold with the benefit of the insurance proceeds in place. This makes it a highly attractive offering, coupled with the special nature of the site and building,” Doig says.

The 640 sq m building occupies a 177 sq m site and Doig believes the property will appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers including developers, investors and high net worth individuals.

“The site overlooks Victoria Squarebeside the future proposedConvention Centre and opposite Forsyth Barr House, which is being transformed into a hotel. The decision to repair the Town Hall is an added attraction.”

The property was long known as the Cook & Ross Corner after the pharmacists who occupied it from the last century and who built the building in 1926 to replace an earlier wooden structure. The Helmore & Cotterill design is in an Inter War Georgian Revival style.