Historic Coolangatta land on the market

By Bernard Orsman

It took just 18 minutes in 2006 to demolish Coolangatta. Photo / Supplied
It took just 18 minutes in 2006 to demolish Coolangatta. Photo / Supplied

The site of Coolangatta, the 1913 example of Arts and Crafts architecture that was reduced to rubble in just 18 minutes on a December morning in 2006, is for sale.

The $8 million-plus section at 464 Remuera Rd is being marketed as an uncut diamond and opportunity to build luxury apartments with unobstructed views of the harbour.

The loss of Coolangatta led lawyer and author Peter Macky to write a book analysing the Auckland City Council politics that allowed "Auckland's most admired residence" to be condemned behind closed doors and demolished.

Mr Macky said apartments on the land were unlikely to sell because any purchaser would feel complicit in the demolition of "Auckland's most beautifully designed, built and maintained mansion".

"My view is that the Coolangatta site is tainted. Unless you were from Afghanistan, any interested purchaser would know of the controversy, and who wants to buy in to that? ... It also happens that the proposed development is extremely ugly."

Remuera Heritage researcher Jennifer Hayman said the loss of Coolangatta was up there with the loss of His Majesty's Theatre and Partington's Mill.

"It's a sad indictment on the perceived short-term gain ... in conflict with heritage and national identity," she said.

The 2543sq m section on the Remuera north-facing ridge is zoned Residential 7C, which allows for up to 12 units up to 20m in height. The listing said the site has building consent for nine apartments from 200sqm to 310sq m.

The site is owned by Albatross QT Ltd. Lawyer David Boswell, the son-in-law and solicitor of longtime owner Margaret Coutts, and who applied for the demolition permit, would not comment on who actually owned the land, which has a capital value of $8.25 million.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a3 at 03 Sep 2014 17:30:54 Processing Time: 701ms