The final steps before construction work gets under way on the Bridgewater Quay apartments are taking place with 10 of the 20 units on offer already sold.
And the developer has revealed plans for even more houses in the area.
Reaching the 50 per cent sale mark was the criteria for bank financing to be approved, subject to a quantity surveyor looking over the costs, quotes and materials of the project.
Developer John Hay said it's additional work but a very good exercise to do.
"With renovations the risks are higher than if you're building new, because most people know if you're building new what to expect, but with renovation work it's always the thing that jumps out that you don't expect.
"Although it is a bit of a pain it does give us another set of eyes looking at it and when you're building 20 of these things, if you make a mistake for $1000 you multiple it by 20, so you can soon run into trouble if you're not on top of it."
It's expected the quantity surveyor's report will be completed within the next week. In the meantime the building is still owned by local businessman Trevor Strong.
It was about a year ago that Hay announced his plan to transform the old Chronicle building at 59 Taupo Quay into apartments.
Hay said it's taken longer than expected for the project to reach this stage, but that it's not straightforward.
The site was built around 50 years ago and has been home to the likes of New Zealand Railways and the Whanganui Chronicle over the years.
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Resource consent for the 20 apartment project, made up of 15 one and two-bedroom dwellings and five penthouses, was granted in July.
"Converting something from commercial use to residential use, there's a lot of hurdles you've got to jump and council has been 100 per cent supportive from day one," Hay said.
"Although it's taken a while, some of these things in Auckland and Wellington can take three or four years, so it's taken us 18 months and in the overall scheme of things I think we've done pretty well."
Hay said settlement of the building will likely happen in February and construction work will begin almost immediately after.
The work is expected to take eight to nine months.
The cost to purchase one of the cheaper Bridgewater Quay apartments initially started at $195,000 plus GST; however the prices now range from $275,000 to $525,000.
Hay said interest in the project, even from those who are not looking to purchase, has been fantastic.
"We've received tremendous support from the local market.
"We haven't had to go outside of Whanganui to effect any sales and I think all of the sales will be made locally which is awesome as far as I'm concerned.
"It won't be sold to offshore investors or punters in Auckland, it'll be local people which is fantastic."
With half of what's on offer already pre-sold and with a list of around 110 interested parties, Hay expects to sell the remaining units over the next two months.
A location to advertise the project and have people available to answer any questions from the public was planned for Victoria Ave, but is now likely to be placed in the building itself.
"More than likely what we'll do is fit-out a unit so people can see the thing in the flesh, and it gives all the crew involved in the construction phase a crack at doing one so they know what to do on the other 19," Hay said.
Signage wrap with information about the project will also be placed around the building in the coming months.
A further opportunity to get a spot on the waterfront could be presented as part of the sale.
Hay said the sale also includes the structure that sits beside the apartment building which would be brought down to make way for housing or other projects.
"We've got approval to that parcel and we will almost certainly offer that as residential land for people.
"There would be about five or six really nice townhouses sitting right on the waterfront.
"Ideally we'd just sell the land component to say five builders in Whanganui and they can build a spec-home, or it could become something that's really outstanding.
"It'll add value to the apartments, that's for sure."