Alanah Eriksen

Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's property reporter, and assistant chief reporter.

Mansion plan for $4.2m hostel site

Tech boss pays nearly twice the valuation of old building, with plans to knock it down.

22 Pentland Ave in Mt Eden.
22 Pentland Ave in Mt Eden.

The boss of technology giant Compass Communications has bought an old backpacker hostel for $4.21 million, and wants to knock it down and build a mansion with a four-car garage, a pool and a tennis court.

Pentlands in Mt Eden was newly renovated when Englishman Karim Hussona and wife Erica bought the property at the end of last year for nearly twice its valuation of $2.35 million.

Built as a bungalow in 1921, the building has had 21 renovations since the 1940s. It became a boarding house in 1940, and was turned into a backpackers' hostel in 1989.

Floor plans for the Hussonas' new home, where they will live with their three children, show a 544sq m, two-storey weatherboard home on the 2593sq m site at 22 Pentland Ave.

It will have six bedrooms - four with balconies - three bathrooms, three living areas, a wine cellar and separate offices for the couple.

Outside will be a built-in barbecue, swimming pool and spa with bathroom, and automated gates at the entrance.

The existing concrete tennis court, now used as a carparking area, will be resurfaced with synthetic turf. A four-car garage will have a loft on top.

Mrs Hussona told the Herald she and her husband paid "a lot more than we wanted to" because they were pushed up at auction by two developers who planned to build a handful of houses on the site.

She said neighbours were keen to see the hostel go because it was noisy, attracted a lot of traffic and produced a lot of rubbish.

A heritage architect had described the old building as being in "complete disrepair" because it had been renovated so many times.

She said the site was unique as large sections did not come up for sale often in Mt Eden and it had views of the Waitakeres and the Sky Tower.

The Auckland Council is considering Mr Hussona's resource consent application, which is open to public submissions.

The present owners bought the property for $450,000.

The hostel's lease ends in September.

22 Pentland Ave, Mt Eden

• 2595sq m section.
• 21 renovations since 1940s.
• $4.21 million sale last year to Compass boss Karim Hussona.
• 6-bedroom, 3-bathroom mansion proposed with swimming pool, spa, tennis court and 4-car garage.

- NZ Herald

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