Latest update: 30/06/2020

Former Odeon Theatre and neighbouring properties set to go under the hammer

June 2020

Ōtākaro Limited is selling two of Christchurch’s high profile heritage buildings in the CBD’s South Frame - the former Odeon Theatre in Tuam Street and the neighbouring Lawrie & Wilson Auctioneers property.

Included in the offering is 761sq m of vacant land in two titles adjoining the two sites, fronting onto Tuam and Manchester Streets.

The trio of properties is being sold ‘as is where is’ in one lot by Colliers International at auction on Thursday, August 13.

Investment sales broker Courtney Doig, of Colliers International, says the majority of heritage buildings that survived the earthquakes have now been sold.

“A lot of the local developers who like heritage projects have their hands full at the moment so it’s a great opportunity for some other parties. Potential buyers can see the wonderful restoration of heritage buildings that has already taken place.

“These much-admired properties echo Christchurch’s heritage and are beckoning for sensitive restoration while the adjacent land is ripe for development. The central city mixed use zoning allows for a diverse range of uses.” 

Doig says post-earthquake Christchurch has been left bereft of quality heritage.

“These fine examples are worthy of the true collector restoring them to their true potential. All engineering documentation is available to qualified buyers with the skillset required to return these stunning buildings to their former glory.”

The Odeon carries a Category 1 listing, designed in 1883 by Thomas Stoddart Lambert as a public theatre and hall, and later transformed to a vaudeville venue, cinema and church. Lambert designed many other former Christchurch landmarks including the former United Services Hotel.

The façade of the theatre was in white stone with the side and exterior walls in brick and line mortar, and decorated with Italianate motifs.

While some parts of the auditorium and fly tower were demolished by CERA in 2012 because of safety concerns, the street frontage, entry and stairs have been retained, supported by containers onto Tuam St.

Keith Beal, Ōtākaro’s general manager Property and Operations Group, says the people of Christchurch have an enduring attachment to these heritage buildings.

“This is a proposition for those who want to give something back to Christchurch by rejuvenating a hidden treasure on one of the city’s most prominent intersections.

“Much of Christchurch now has a shiny new face, so the opportunity to apply your skills and vision to not one but two buildings with the architectural and historic presence of the Odeon Theatre and Laurie Wilson building will not come again.”

The adjacent Lawrie and Wilson building dates back to 1911, built as auction premises. It was bought by the Christchurch City Council in 1985 and has a floor area of 400sqm.

The total offering is in four titles with land areas of 278sqm and 562sqm at 210 and 214 Tuam St respectively, together with 346sqm and 415sqm at 117 and 125 Manchester St.