Former centrepiece of city up for grabs

By Andrew Bonallack -
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FOR SALE: The former turret of the Centrepoint tower in Masterton, dismantled in 1997, is now the roof of Kia Motors showroom and office in Masterton.
FOR SALE: The former turret of the Centrepoint tower in Masterton, dismantled in 1997, is now the roof of Kia Motors showroom and office in Masterton.

A landmark of Masterton's long-gone skyline is up for sale.

A car yard office, topped with the tower turret of the Centrepoint Tower, is being removed from the yard to make way for a new showroom.

Centrepoint Mall with its tower was a Masterton focal point on Queen St for 25 years, featuring on tourist brochures and postcards.

Built by Sir Robert Jones as part of Brierley-Jones investments in 1972, the tower and mall were demolished in 1997 because of a lack of rental interest, a move welcomed by Sir Robert who said he hated the look of the building.

Masterton vehicle dealer Ian Hoggard took the turret and the glass windows, and set them up as an office at his company, Majestic Motors, on the corner of Harlequin and Dixon streets.

Today the result is the showroom offices for Kia Motors, with Eastwood Motor Group.

Mr Hoggard is putting the 27sq m office, with turret, kitchen, toilet and decking, up for sale, to make way for a refurbishment and new showroom at Eastwood.

It is being advertised for sale by tender in the Times-Age and listed on Trade Me with a 'buy now' price of $15,000.

He said he got the turret while at the demolition site looking for material to recycle.

"I was looking for glass, and I decided to buy the turret," he said.

"Then the demolisher rang me and said, 'do you want the floor'?"

That was not an easy question, because the floor was a 200mm-thick circular concrete slab, left sitting on the corner of Queen St and Bannister St.

Fortunately, a contractor loaded it up for him and delivered it to Majestic.

The circular floor can still be seen underneath the office, which overhangs it.

Mr Hoggard sold the business in 2011 but still owns the land. His ad is for sale and removal.

He described the tower as "way out of its time" for Masterton.

"It's a bit of modern history, possibly a wee bit out of touch with Wairarapa."

When asked what his motivation was for buying it, he said it was "unique".

He told the Times-Age reporter in 1997 he had new office plans drawn up for Majestic Motors but was not happy with them.

"We wanted something special - it was good timing.

"I would sooner not see it trashed if possible. Maybe it could make a little bach."

Tenders close on May 27.

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