A derelict boarding house that had not been lived in for more than 10 years has been transformed into two multimillion-dollar luxurious apartments with a grand nod to its heritage past.

The two-level home on one of Devonport's most sought-after streets has undergone a floor-to-ceiling rebuild under guidance from heritage experts, two architects and a group of skilled tradesmen.

The Rattray St house - owned by local Manuka Cafe owners Quan Tran and Jane Trinh - was unliveable when the couple bought it two years ago.

There was no power or water to the house, no kitchen and the house had been sitting empty for more than 10 years.


Built in 1915 as a one-level brick villa, a bungalow-style level was added in the 1920s. During the Depression, it became a boarding house and it was later divided into four flats.

"We loved the house right from the start and it had lovely bones for a 100-year-old house," Trinh said.

"It is the best location in Devonport, it has views to the Sky Tower and city and harbour."
The street is a quiet cul-de-sac but just a minute's stroll to the main street with cafes, restaurants and a heritage movie theatre.

Trinh said the rebuild had taken a year and a half of hard work but the pair were "amazed" with the result.

"Everyone who comes into our cafe says it's 10 out of 10, they can't believe it is the same house."

The house has a 2017 and pre-renovation CV of $1.9m.

Barfoot and Thompson agents Toni Gregory and Sue Harrison described the renovation as "a journey of courage, deep pockets and lengthy consultation with heritage experts."

Harrison said the end result exceeded expectations and she was thrilled at the result for the couple.


"It is just the most beautiful property. It is hard to believe how it has been transformed.

"It still has original grand features but now it is so open and bright, it is just amazing."

Go straight to the listing for 19 Rattary St, Devonport, on OneRoof.co.nz.