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By Stephen Heard
October 13, 2014
By Stephen Heard
October 13, 2014

As the NZ Herald reports, Auckland's stunning St James Theatre could be in for a makeover, after being sold to a developer.

The historic building, which opened in 1928, has been in dire need of an upgrade for seven years. Before officially closing after an electrical fire in 2007, concert-goers were known to have taken damage from the crumbling ceiling. While active, the theatre hosted musical acts including Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Muse, The White Stripes, as well as theatre, cinema and a concert for the visiting Queen Elizabeth II.

Details of the sale aren't clear but the new deal is believed to allow the buyer to build a 39-level apartment tower and retail complex next door. In April of this year, owner Paul Doole said he had offered to sell the building to the council for its rateable value of $11 million.

The upgrade would involve more than just a lick of paint. In 2010, the cost to the developer reinforcing the outside walls of the theatre was put at $5 million, with full restoration estimated to the tune of $50 million.

Published on October 13, 2014 by Stephen Heard


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