The 1920s Ascot apartments have everything modern apartment buildings have, and then something - "character and spades of it!"
Ani Tollemache, owner of Number 5, a one-bedroom unit, should know.
She has lived in three of the 27 apartments in the Ascot building during her eight years here from 1991. As a real estate agent, she sold 15 of them, buying her own one-bedroom unit in June 1997. "I know each and every one of these apartments. I don't think there's one I haven't been in," she says.
"I bought mine off Celine Vernezy, who had the magnificent shop Ambiance Interiors. She created a little bit of Paris smack in the middle of Auckland, which I found absolutely fabulous. I have tried to keep the same colour scheme; it's very French with taupe in the kitchen and reds and golds."
When Ani was an agent, she had a waiting list of people wanting to buy into the apartments. In her ads she promoted the Ascot's similarity in appearance to Melrose Place, the apartments in the popular 1990s American TV series. "I marketed it as Melrose Place with all the shenanigans and the fun that used to go on in the fictional one in Los Angeles."
Ani says the Spanish-style Ascot apartments with their central courtyard garden have always attracted an eclectic bunch of occupants. When she lived here there were "amazing people, very artistic - literary and film people and musicians".
Ani's apartment is on the middle floor.
You come into the main living room and then the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom (including laundry) are all separate rooms. The apartment looks out to the courtyard.
"And it has an old-fashioned 10-foot stud, which is exceedingly rare these days. The walls are at least two bricks thick, you don't hear your neighbours. And there are polished kauri floors, a fireplace and an enormous sash window."
The kilometres between Ani's Eastern Bay of Plenty home and her rental in Auckland is the reason she is selling.
"I would like to think someone artistic will buy it and restore it to it former gorgeousness.
"It will appeal to someone who will appreciate its character."By Donna McIntyre