From old school to new homes

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    M & Q Trading Ltd director Andrew Yu at the former Invercargill South School site last week. Photo: Petrina Wright

    A NEW development planned for the city will not only repurpose one of Invercargill’s derelict school sites but also help address the concerning housing shortage.

    Australian-based property investors M & Q Trading Ltd plan to convert the former Invercargill South School buildings on Ness St into “high-spec” apartments.

    “We are hoping to raise the value of the community in that area,” M & Q Trading Ltd director Andrew Yu said.

    “We genuinely want to bring value to the community.”

    South School was one of several Invercargill primary schools closed by the Ministry of Education and left to fall into disrepair after a review in 2004.

    M & Q Trading invest in developments in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and United Kingdom.

    Mr Yu said the company determined what a community needed and then planned projects to meet that need.

    An artist’s impression of the development planned for the former Invercargill South School site. Photo: Supplied

    “In this case we knew the [Invercargill] community needed more housing.”

    The South School site was selected because of its proximity to shops, parks, reserves and restaurants.

    “It is a waste to leave [the school buildings] unused,” he said.

    The company planned to convert the existing two-storeyed school buildings on the 400-square-metre section into 15 “medium to high-end” self-contained two and three-bedroom residential units, he said.

    The development would include off-street parking, communal outdoor areas and storage facilities.

    The ground floor apartments would have private courtyards, he said.

    M & Q Trading also owned the adjacent empty section on the corner of Ness and Crinan Sts.

    Mr Yu said they planned to develop the section, but had not decided what it would be used for. “It would depend on the community need.”

    Invercargill City Council had granted resource consent for the development, and work was under way to develop detailed designs, he said.

    Work on site was expected to start early to mid-next year and take about 18 months.

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