Wellington's heritage-listed Wellesley Club building could soon be for sale because its owners have been unable to find the money to do earthquake-strengthening work.
The pending sale was confirmed yesterday by Wellesley Club president Grant Purdie. The club has a quarter share in the company that owns the building.
But Stuart Brooker, who heads a group of Masons who have a majority shareholding in the company, is still hoping the money can be raised.
Mr Brooker announced three months ago that work was about to start on a seismic upgrade that would involve bolting the building to the neighbouring former Defence headquarters in Stout St while it was being refurbished.
The club building, the Wellesley Boutique Hotel and the Maginnity restaurant closed last month, but work could not start until funding was secured.
Mr Brooker said the estimated cost of the upgrade went from $1.4 million to $2.4m and the group was unable to get funding for its share of the work.
A deadline set by developers of the adjoining building had expired, but he hoped that could be extended and funding could still be found.
Mr Purdie said the club, which has fewer than 100 members, would have been able to fund its quarter share. The club wanted the building to be put on the open market so it could get a realistic best price.
The property's rating value is $3.37m, but a discount to cover the strengthening cost could reduce this to less than $1m.
The Wellington Company managing director Ian Cassels said yesterday that he had offered to buy the building and fund the strengthening, but his offer had been declined.
The five-storey building was designed by William Gray Young and built in 1925-26.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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