Part of Christchurch's former Wigram Air Base is in the market in its refurbished format as a 43-room Art Deco accommodation and function complex.

The land and buildings at 14 Henry Wigram Drive are for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Friday June 1 through Savills' sales executive Ben Cameron.

Wigram Air Base was built in 1938 when it housed the Royal New Zealand Air Force Wigram officers' mess and accommodation. RNZAF officers who were based at Wigram dined and imbibed there for decades.

The property was converted to a function venue in the 1990s and since then the buildings have hosted royal visits, dinners, weddings and international delegations.


The character-filled complex is now being offered to a new owner, says Cameron.

"This is a rare opportunity for a tourism-related operator to acquire restored heritage premises that were part of the original Wigram Air Base. The property is a piece of Christchurch's history, dating back to when Wigram served as the South Island's principal air force base," he says.

"The complex is also close to expansive new residential and commercial developments in Wigram, making it an exciting proposition for tourism businesses."

The property is likely to appeal to tourism operators who could use it as a base for international guests travelling via Christchurch Airport, Cameron says.

"The accommodation and restaurant facilities on the site mean it would work well as a stopover point and gateway for visitors on tours of the South Island."

The 2049sq m complex on 8782sq n of freehold land comprises three interlinked buildings housing accommodation over two levels as well as a restaurant, bar and conference/event facilities.

Forty double rooms are in the two accommodation wings, along with three self-contained units.

The Wigram Air Base ballroom features timber parquet floor and art deco ceiling. Photo / Supplied
The Wigram Air Base ballroom features timber parquet floor and art deco ceiling. Photo / Supplied

Among the restored character features are a ballroom with timber parquet floor and art deco ceiling, as well as an anteroom with an original fireplace.

The large grounds include landscaped gardens, lawns and car parking. The original St Marks Chapel, which was built in 1943 as part of the RNZAF base, is also on the property.

The site, which is zoned for travellers' accommodation, is located in the fast-growing Wigram residential area. The Landing, Wigram's new town centre, is nearby, providing retail stores, cafés and restaurants. The Christchurch central business district is around 8km to the northeast.

Ben Cameron, Savills
Ben Cameron, Savills