Mt Eden St James Church hall suspected arson: police close file, developer goes to court in bid to buy site.

Mt Eden artist Martin Law looks at his painting of a historic church hall in his neighbourhood engulfed in flames and says he is not surprised his premonition came to pass.

He did the painting of the 133-year-old St James Presbyterian Sunday School Hall three years before it burnt down last December in a suspected arson.

"It is most likely that a liquid accelerant has been poured and ignited", the Fire and Emergency New Zealand report, released to the Herald under the Official Information Act, concluded.

That prompted a police investigation, which, after several months, has exhausted lines of inquiry.