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Abbeyfield house must move

Real estate agent Jude Clark outside Abbeyfield House. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

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The huge St Matthew’s former vicarage on Church St is for sale for removal.

The building is no longer fit for purpose for owners Abbeyfield New Zealand and its sale is to gain funds to build four new units for seniors.

Abbeyfield acquired the building in 1994.

The 1876 two-storey, wooden building is 280m2 with many large rooms, a couple of sets of French doors, sash windows and two balconies.

The buyer would need to move it to a new site in at least four pieces. Based on quotes investigated by the agency listing the building, the cost of moving it is likely to be more than the price paid to buy it. It also is due for maintenance, including roof repair.

Abbeyfield House is made up of buildings from three eras – the manse dating back to 1876, with additions in the 1950s and 1995. It is listed as Masterton Heritage Building.

Abbeyfield has resource and building consents to do a $1 million upgrade of the resident’s living area and kitchen and to build four new units.

The units are for over 65-year-olds who fit the criteria of having a financial, housing, and social need.

There are 10 studio rooms and a waiting list of 20 people wanting to move in.

Ray White Leaders real estate agent Jude Clark is charged with the listing.

She is also volunteer at the house working as the house manager.

“We have had 15 buyers showing serious interest and have sold a few buildings for removal lately so we expect it will be wanted,” Clark said.

“A buyer would need do carry out due diligence about what the owners require to happen to the building because it needs to stay as one building as part of the consent for removal as a heritage building,” Clark said.

Executive officer for Abbeyfield Properties limited, Susan Jenkins is thrilled with the interest so far.

“It is a wonderful historical building. We hope it finds a loving owner,” Jenkins said.

The renovations of the resident’s kitchen and dining area as well as the new buildings can get under way without the old building being moved. A new owner would need to pay for the building but would not have to remove it immediately.

Masterton District Council has granted consent for the removal but a condition is that it is relocated in the Masterton district.

All offers would be considered by 2pm, October 12.

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