The last grand old house in Tauranga's downtown has been demolished to make way for an undisclosed development.

Purchased in February for $1.6 million, the 808sq m property at 93 Durham St sat next to the university campus now under construction.

The sale ended a 75-year link by the Cassidy family with the landmark house - the last occupied residential house left in the heart of the CBD.

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The house, which was in original condition with beautiful wood-panel interiors, was a throwback to another era in the city's history. The property sold for 64 per cent more than its 2015 capital rating valuation of $974,000.

Only the garage and steps remain of the Durham St house that dated back to the early decades of last century. Photo/John Borren
Only the garage and steps remain of the Durham St house that dated back to the early decades of last century. Photo/John Borren

Tauranga Historical Society president Stephanie Smith said it was a shame to see the house demolished, and she suspected it would not be the city's last old house to be swallowed by development.

''One more bit of the past has been knocked down.''

She put the loss of the house down to the commercial value of the land. ''The city centre has become so valuable.''

The sale was the last reminder of the days when Grey St and Durham St were a mix of residential houses and businesses. At one time, Durham St was on the outskirts of the main commercial streets of The Strand and Devonport Rd, Ms Smith said.

''We forget how small the downtown really was in the 1920s and '30s.''

David Baker of Focus on Property declined to comment on what plans the owners had for the property.

A council property search showed 93 Durham St was owned by Albazz Properties. Its registered office was Focus on Property at 266 Maunganui Rd.

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