Landmark to be restored

By Don Farmer


Masterton property developer and entrepreneur Dave Borman has bought the Wairarapa Times-Age building with plans to restore it to its "former glory" as a great example of art deco architecture.

The newspaper will remain as the anchor tenant in the newly-refurbished building, on a long-term lease, and the remainder of the premises will be developed as up-market offices.

Mr Borman said he had a long association with the building, at the junction of Chapel St with Perry St and Cole St, having worked on it firstly as a carpenter for M.B.Brown Ltd and later as a builder in his own right.

He bought the building for an undisclosed sum and said he looked on its renovation as a "passion project".

"I want to make it one of the nicest examples of art deco to be found anywhere."

The building's exterior will be retained and improved, although the rear frontage on to Cole St - which was a lean-to built on to the original building - will be demolished.

About 20 carparks will be installed in that cleared area, able to be used by staff from the Times-Age and other offices.

Mr Borman said the outer walls were very solid but the interior needed strengthening.

The upstairs offices, currently used by Times-Age editorial staff, will be redeveloped into executive offices, with a separate entry from outside.

The portion of the building at the southern end of Chapel St will temporarily house the newspaper staff while work starts on the northern end, once plans have been approved and permits obtained.

When that work is complete the Times-Age will move into the newly refurbished offices at the northern end, downstairs, and work will start on southern end renovations.

Mr Borman said the entire project would take about a year to finish with work due to start early in the new year.

Wairarapa Times-Age commercial manager Andrew Denholm said the sale of the building was a good result for both parties.

He said Mr Borman was a "seasoned" property developer and owner, and by being the anchor tenant in an essentially new building, the Times-Age had an opportunity to concentrate on publishing, its core business.

Wairarapa Times-Age was founded in 1938 when the two existing newspapers, the Wairarapa Daily Times and the Wairarapa Age merged and moved into the building.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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