Buyer found for railway station

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The Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust has found a conditional buyer for the town’s iconic railway station – one who is interested in maintaining the building’s identity.

On Thursday night, the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust agreed on a conditional offer from a North Island buyer.

Trust chairman Peter Garvan said the buyer had a heritage background and a strong sense of community.

However, Mr Garvan could not reveal the details of the buyer’s plans or the amount of the offer until it became unconditional.

“His aim is to have the railway station as an identity in its own right that is once again a focal meeting place for locals,” he said.

“He wants to respect the structure as a whole and bring it back to the original floor plan as much as possible.

“We’re very happy with the plans.”

The property is a catergory two historic building and under the sales agreement, it cannot be demolished and the exterior features and appearance must remain the same.

“It is a very important building. We have always wanted to find a heritage buyer,” Mr Garvan said.

After a competitive sales process, there were a number of good offers, he said.

Once the sale became unconditional and the funds were received, the trust would then be able to decide what to do with the money, Mr Garvan said.

LJ Hooker Oamaru real estate agent Stephen Robertson, who is managing the sale, said it would become conditional after 20 working days.

“I think the trust has taken a period of time to consider the offers because of the significance of the sale and they’ve reviewed it in depth.

“They’ve come up with the best buyer at the end of the day,” Mr Robertson said.

The railway station, which was built in 1900, was designed by New Zealand Railway Department architect George Troup, who also designed the Dunedin Railway Station.

By RUBY HARFIELD