Let's not pop the champagne corks just yet to celebrate the saving of the St James Theatre. Given Auckland's chequered history in saving heritage buildings, best to keep the Lindauer on ice for the time being.
But the purchase of the theatre and surrounding development site by property developer Lijun Li does seem to be the most promising news since a fire in the adjacent cinema complex in 2007 forced authorities to close the St James for safety reasons.
Since then, first Auckland City, then the Auckland Council flirted with owner Paul Doole, hoping he might sell at mate's rates. They failed.
Five years ago, Mr Doole won a six-year fight to build a 39-storey apartment tower alongside and over the old theatre. His consent required him only to water-proof, earthquake-proof and mothball the 1928 vintage theatre, and restore its Queen St tower when the apartment skyscraper was built.
And that, he declared, was all he would do. He said it was over to the council, or someone else, to bring the theatre back to life.
Since 2009, neither he or the council blinked and the site remained Queen's St biggest eyesore. But last Friday, Mr Li's company Relianz Holdings, in partnership with Auckland Notable Properties Trust, bought the site, with the plans and resource consents for the 39-storey residential tower, and the theatre.
The new owners say they hope to have the project - including a restored theatre - open by 2018.
For a building with a top-level heritage listing on the Auckland Council and Heritage New Zealand registers but living rough, this is great news.
The yet-to-be-answered questions are, who is going to pay, and what form of resurrection will take place?
Heading the heritage side of the project is Steve Bielby, principal trustee of the Auckland Notable Properties Trust, set up last year by his family, which is linked to the Target retail chain.
The trust's first heritage project was to buy the mid-19th century Airedale St workers' cottages in central Auckland. This restoration project will start soon.
Mr Bielby says he's been in consultation with the Auckland Council on the St James for about three years and the council put him in touch with Mr Li.
He says the trust will be "a vehicle to own the theatre long term".
He and Relianz Holdings development director Mike Gibbon say that over the next six to nine months, heritage restoration and business plans will be drawn up.
Mr Bielby says they want to have the venue up and running by the time the apartment complex opens in 2018 or even before. "It might not be fully restored. It might be shabby chic."
He says it may be a case of opening with only the ground floor to begin, and then restoring the rest by stages.
Decisions on how far to go would depend on the yet-to-be-written business plan.
"We have to see what demand is there for it," he said.
There was no point in building magnificent new backstage facilities and having them used only twice a year when the opera visited.
He's looking for a business case "which is going to make us lose the least. We're taking a realistic approach, much the same as the Vic in Devonport."
This echoes comments made a year ago by Margot McRae, co-chair of the Devonport Victoria Theatre Trust.
"The key to saving the St James Theatre is not to aim for a grand restoration but simply to make it safe."
Which might mean just bringing the old theatre up to meet fire and safety and health codes and leaving it at that. For the time being at least.
I can live with that. Unless anyone out there has a spare $50 million-plus to toss into the funds, it sounded like good sense then. And still does.
As for that bubbly. Perhaps a little sip wouldn't do any harm.