Safety concerns about decaying heritage building premises have prompted the owners of Whanganui clothing store Andersons to move to two new sites.

Darrell Smith said the menswear part of the business will move from its current store in the Hallenstein's building on the corner of Victoria Ave and Ridgway St to a shop at 65 Victoria Ave, previously occupied by Spark. The uniform shop has already moved to 184 Victoria Ave.

"The [Hallenstein's] building hasn't had any maintenance done on it for eight years," Mr Smith said.

"It's had two foreign owners who haven't wanted to put any money into it. The building is falling apart. It's got leaks and mould and mildew and it needs earthquake strengthening. The veranda is in very poor repair and is borderline dangerous.

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"After more than a year of trying to get the owner to do something about it, I decided to move when the opportunity presented itself. It was time to get out for the safety of my public and the safety of my staff.

"It's a landmark building for Whanganui. It was once an amazing building and it could be again but it needs work done on it."

Andersons' menswear business is moving to a more customer-friendly store in Victoria Ave.
Andersons' menswear business is moving to a more customer-friendly store in Victoria Ave.

Mr Smith said the new premises were better quality and would provide improved access for customers.

"It's a better retail space though the corner was a fantastic place to trade from. It will have wheelchair access and doesn't have multi-levels and stairs."

Mr Smith expects to move to the new location by April 23. Andersons, originally known as Anderson's for Men, has been based in the Hallenstein's building since 1994.

The Hallenstein's building is listed as a heritage item in the Whanganui District Plan. It was built in 1912 and modernised in the 1930s. The three-storey building has a mixture of Edwardian classical and 1930s Art Deco features. The distinctive bay windows are quite unusual in Whanganui.