One of the most meticulously restored heritage buildings in Christchurch, the former Midland Club at 176 Oxford Terrace overlooking the Avon River, is being sold by its owners, Box 112.
The three-level gem, next to Te Pae Convention Centre, was built in 1934 and has been completely restored and strengthened to 100 per cent of current building code.
Set down for auction on March 18, it is being marketed by Mark Macauley, General Manager of Colliers Christchurch.
He says there are two established tenants, Miro Cafe and Crane Brothers, on the ground floor with the upper two levels of office space becoming available in March, making it a very attractive proposition for owner-occupiers or investors wanting to secure a prime CBD building.
“Quality commercial properties remain keenly sought by investors, and heritage buildings such as this are in a class of their own because there are so few today. Christchurch is increasingly the focus of investors throughout New Zealand and we see no sign of that trend changing this year.
“This building has been brought back to its former glory with a full restoration of its many heritage features including timber wall panelling, feature fireplaces, detailed corniced ceilings, fully operating caged lift and grand staircase. The attention to detail and finishing is exceptional, making this building truly one of a kind.”
The Midland Club, originally known as the Federal Club, was founded in 1880 and chartered in 1885. The membership moved to the current site at 176 Oxford Terrace in 1934, after outgrowing their Worcester St premises.
The building is still regarded for its architectural significance as an example of an interwar renaissance palazzo, designed by the firm of Collins and West, and contextual significance for the contribution it makes to the streetscape of Oxford Terrace and the inner city.
“The building has the best of both worlds. It’s strategically positioned overlooking the Avon River, and within walking distance to the retail precinct, and anchor projects. It’s superbly located to benefit from the current and long-term developments in Christchurch.”
Rob Farrell, a director of Box 112, says the company looks for buildings that stand out, and are non-repeatable.
“These heritage buildings, once the norm, are now rare and sought after with tenants attracted to the natural elements and value add of residing in a unique space like these.
“Christchurch was well known for its eclectic array of heritage buildings pre-earthquake, but now the few remaining ones, when restored and strengthened, are important in providing the stories of our past, and in turn, our future.
“We have immensely enjoyed bringing this building back from slated demolition. Box 112 took the majority of the space as our office and we’ve projected successfully from here for the past three years. Now, we’ve grown and moved to new offices in the recently open and restored Public Trust building at 152 Oxford Terrace.
“It’s the end of era for us and we are ready to pass this beauty onto some else to love. Though a reluctant seller, we are being presented with some very appealing opportunities in the wider South Island that are too good not to explore. Our work is done with the Midland Building; we have, God-willing, secured its future for the next 100 years.”
The 703sq m Oxford Terrace building is currently occupied by two established tenants, Miro Cafe and menswear retailer Crane Brothers.
Since launching less than six years ago, Box 112 has bought and developed some 20 projects in the city. They include:
- 44 Welles Street, up for auction March 4
- 152 Oxford Terrace, the former Public Trust building
- 68 St Asaph Street, the former police station housing Syft Technologies
- The Muse Art Hotel at 159 Manchester Street
- The Welder in Welles Street
- 3 Grow Active child care centres within the inner city
- 200 Armagh Street, a 1930s Art Deco building
- 527 Colombo Street, The New City Hotel
- 176 Oxford Terrace, the Midland Club, originally known as the Federal Club
- 4 Walker Street, built in the 1960s
- 173 St Asaph Street, a 1950s ex printing hall