The race is on to save another historic Waikato building from the wrecking ball as work gears up on a new section of the Waikato Expressway.
NZ Transport Agency is urgently seeking a buyer for Mellow Manor after previous discussions to relocate it fell flat.
The 19 century English manor, built from kauri and rimu, was a popular venue for weddings and functions.
The land the manor is located on, at the intersection of Pickering Rd and the existing State Highway 1, has been designated for road construction since 1995.
The agency purchased the manor property in April this year as one of 92 full and partial properties required to build the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway.
Highway manager Kaye Clark said the agency had fielded inquiries from various parties interested in buying the building, including one couple who expressed an interest in relocating the manor to a site near Cambridge.
To date the cost and logistics involved in shifting the building has seen interested parties walk away.
Mrs Clark said the building would have to be relocated in four pieces at a cost of up to $100,000.
''Just to move the building to a temporary site would cost between $75,000 to $100,000,'' she said. ''The building has been significantly modified over the years to convert it into a function centre and the consent requirements to bring it up to current standards for use, say as a residential dwelling, are considerable.
''It's a little bit disappointing nobody has been able to make it happen but I understand that it's a cost issue. When you look at it on paper it's probably not viable because you could build a new house for the same cost.''
Ms Kaye said any prospective buyer would need to contact the agency straight away with a signed commitment required by this Friday.
HEB Construction, which was awarded the contract to build the 16km section, requires the manor site by September 2, when enabling work will start.
Mellow Manor is listed as a historic building in Waikato District Council's district plan.
The building is not registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
''This is really the last chance for someone out there to save Mellow Manor. Over the years a lot of people have held their weddings and anniversaries there so it holds a lot of special memories for many people,'' Mrs Clark said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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