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Progress on development

The site on the corner of Church and Queen streets in Masterton where the Anglican Family Trust plans to build the two-storey development, below. PHOTO/FILE

Plans by the Wairarapa Families Anglican Trust to redevelop the corner of Church and Queen streets in Masterton are progressing with Mike Wilkinson of Tararua Builders contracted as builder.

The trust last year made public a concept design by Masterton firm Silverwood Architecture, with a 250m2 retail space on the ground floor and apartments on the first floor.

As plans have firmed up there is good interest in the retail space on the ground floor.

IMAGE/SUPPLIED

Three apartments with garaging and lift access are planned for the second floor: two three-bedroom of about 100m2 each and one two-bedroomed. The apartments are north-facing and each have a balcony.

The corner site and land surrounding it is part of what is known as “the church acre”.

This was land gifted to the Anglican Diocese of Wellington years ago and is still owned by them.

The trust pulled down the two-storey building it owned on the site in 2013 after the building was assessed as being well under building code in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes.

It came as quite a blow to lose the building as the trust used the rental income produced from this prominent CBD position to support community initiatives involving young people and families.

Trust chairwoman May Croft said what was a dark cloud at the time now seemed to have a silver lining and trustees felt confident that the redevelopment of the corner site would future proof the trust’s ability to support community initiatives in a more substantial way than they had done previously.

The new development is going ahead at a time when the region’s economy is buoyed by an increase in people moving to live in Masterton, increasing demand for inner city apartments and new property builds generally.

At the same time Masterton District Council has a project to rejuvenate the central business district.

The build is likely to get under way in September and will take about 12 months to complete.

“The signing of the contract with the builder will be a bit of a celebration and a chance to thank those who have helped the trust along the way to bring this building project to fruition,” Croft said.

“It’s great to be using a local architect, a local builder and local suppliers to build a building that will enhance the town and benefit community initiatives involving young people and families. A perfect combination.”

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