A Remuera real estate agency has moved into $12 million headquarters, after its principal bought and renovated old premises.
Megan Jaffe, principal of Ray White Remuera, said the agency last month moved into the building on the main shopping strip.
Jaffe said her company, Magnolia Property Holdings, bought 411-413 Remuera Rd, spending $12 million on the purchase and refurbishment of structures on site of the former Remuera library.
Former mayor John Banks said he had acted as "the owner's representative" on the property job. He also acts as a consultant to the business and his card is at reception.
Jaffe described the scope of work in Remuera.
"I bought the two titles on June 1, 2015 for $5m and spent $7m on the renovation which involved a total re-build," she said telling how Haydn + Rollett were the head contractors.
"Less than 2 per cent of the original building was kept," she said.
Seventeen foundation piles were driven 17m into the ground to create a strong structure, bricks were re-used, double-glazed windows made and installed, ornate exterior window lead lights were retained and an elevator put into the three-level building which dates back to 1928.
"It was a very pretty character building in very poor condition. I wanted to restore her to her former glory," Jaffe said pointing out heritage-style exterior lamps specially made in London, a large ornate wrought iron feature which divides the agency from a neighbouring cafe and big door handles made in Napier.
Asked about real estate agencies' growing main street presence, Jaffe said: "There's a lot of perception about banks and real estate agencies having an impact on retail. But online has an effect. If you are offering people good value, shops and retail areas will still do well."
Jaffe said the agency is Ray White's number one in Australasia, has 40 per cent of the Remuera market, made annual sales of $800 million, had 80 staff and 56 licensed sales people.
But she expressed concerns about the state of other nearby buildings.
"Remuera is very run down because of the age and stage of building owners. At this point [in their lives], they don't want to make an investment in Remuera. But I have such confidence in Remuera and I wanted to do something that would give everyone positivity," she said, citing talk of a movie theatre possibly returning to the area.