Reopening the former Chief Post Office building “marks a significant milestone for the restoration project, with more tenants, a three-level car park building and, eventually, the 120-apartment four-star-plus Distinction Dunedin Hotel, all to follow”. (ODT)
### ODT Online Tue, 25 Mar 2014
Office workers light up CPO
By Chris Morris
The return today of a commercial tenant to Dunedin’s former chief post office building for the first time in more than 15 years marks a significant milestone in the restoration project. About 145 staff from Silver Fern Farms are expected to start work in their new headquarters – occupying the first two floors of the partially-restored building – this morning. It was the first time the building had been home to a permanent tenant since closing its doors in 1997, building owner Geoff Thomson, of Distinction Hotels, said.
Submissions in opposition to the proposed waterfront tower hotel at 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212) make frequent mention of a preference to see the old Chief Post Office restored and in use as a city hotel in The Exchange.
Dull criticism from the anti-heritage brigade has often been cast at the old building’s owner for lack of speed in making the redevelopment happen.
Geoff Thomson, a canny and diligent man, has proceeded with the retrofit of this very large government architect-designed building at the pace he can afford in the up-down market he faces. Geoff Thomson deserves significant praise for his passion and perseverance in seeing the project through as well as attending to quality tenanting and leases.
[history and significance]
█ Heritage New Zealand (HNZ) registration report: List No. 2145 (Category II)
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Images: rootsweb.ancestry.com – Dunedin Chief Post Office (1930s) re-imaged by whatifdunedin; odt.co.nz – Gerard O’Brien: CPO Reroof, May 2011 [screenshot]