A new future looms for historic Nelson property
MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF
Sotheby’s International Realty Sales Associate Ian Keightley is marketing the sale of Wainui House in Nile St, Nelson. The 6417 sqm property has a current capital value of $3,651,000.
A large historic Nelson property for sale that is expected to fetch a multi-million dollar price tag could become an upscale residential development.
Sotheby’s International Realty agents marketing the property say there are a range of options for the central 6,417m² property, on the corner of Nile and Domett streets, including its development while retaining the historic Wainui House on the site .
The property has a current capital value of $3,651,000, substantially all of which is land value.
Wainui House is over a century old and was originally owned by George Wales Lightband, who brought his family to Nelson from England in 1842.
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According to the Nelson Historical Society, Wainui House was a large lodging house in the first half of the last century and the favorite place to stay for Governor-General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe, when he visited the town in the 1900s. 1930.
In the 1950s, Wainui House and two other buildings in the section – one of which was staff quarters – were converted into flats. Seven of the nine apartments are still occupied.
Sotheby’s Nelson sales associate Ian Keightley said there were several options for the site, including the development of high-end townhouses, apartments, a lifestyle village or of social housing. Restoration of the site’s aging buildings was also an option.
The Victorian villa had a Group B Heritage List from Nelson City Council, due to its cultural, social and historical significance, but is not listed by Heritage New Zealand. The consent of council resources was required for any modification or demolition of the building.
The property also has many mature trees, with a rata classified as a “heritage” tree, a Jacaranda classified as a “local” tree and a palm classified as a “landscape” tree. It also has many mature fruit and walnut trees.
MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF
Ian Keightley of Sotheby’s International Realty markets the sale of Wainui House, in Nile St, Nelson.
Sotheby’s Nelson sales manager Steve Kelso said they hoped the land’s next owner would have an idea of how important the site is to their vision for its future, but the ultimate plan was a matter between the buyer and advice.
“We want to respect the historical significance and we would like the story not to be forgotten, but we cannot hinder development,” Kelso said.
Some of the parties interested in the property had been watching the site “for decades,” he said.
While Wainui House itself had been extensively modified internally, having been divided into apartments, the original hallway still appeared to be there and it had lovely original native wooden floors, Kelso and Keightley said.
They said the large green space in central Nelson made the property “unique” and a “coveted” opportunity for potential buyers.
Keightley said they would like any future development of the site to be something “the whole of Nelson is proud of”.
Tenders for the property close June 15.
Wainui House has been in the Mackersey family since the 1940s. Shareholders in the family business that owns the site – Wainui House Ltd – have made the decision to sell it, but the apartments will remain occupied until the new owners decide to future of the site, said company director Alan Winwood.
He said the buildings on the property were near the end of their useful life.
The exact age of the Wainui House is unclear, with some old photos said to have been taken in the late 1880s and a painting of the house dated 1893.
Adjacent to the Brook Stream in its main home Wainui has hosted social gatherings, including weddings, in its manicured grounds and gardens, according to the Nelson Historical Society.
The property was also the site of the Lightbands’ tannery during the early colonial period. George Wales Lightband died in the early 1890s, but his son Martin Lightband – who served as Nelson’s alderman and briefly Member of Parliament for Nelson – lived on the property until his death in 1914.