The old Invercargill station considered as a potential space for tenants of the Menzies building

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Nelson-based landowner Gaire Thompson bought the old Invercargill station building. [File photo].

Kavinda Herath / Tips

Nelson-based landowner Gaire Thompson bought the old Invercargill station building. [File photo].

Gaire Thompson bought the old Invercargill station and plans to donate it to tenants in the Menzies Building who will soon need new office space.

As part of a major real estate transaction in Invercargill, Thompson sold the Menzies Building, located behind Wachner Place, to hotelier Geoff Thomson.

In turn, he acquired the old Invercargill station building just a few meters away.

Thompson said he tried to buy the station from the YMCA late last year, but instead HWR Property secured it.

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Gaire Thompson bought the old Invercargill station building. [File photo].

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Gaire Thompson bought the old Invercargill station building. [File photo].

At the time, Scott O’Donnell of HWR Group said it was a ‘punt’ and they didn’t have a clear plan for the building.

Less than a year later, Thompson has now purchased the building.

As Geoff Thomson plans to transform the Menzies Building into a 150-room 4.5-star hotel, current tenants of the Menzies Building will have to look elsewhere.

“This gives us the opportunity to relocate certain tenants to [the railway station building]. It takes a bit of tidying up which we’ll do, ”said Gaire Thompson.

Thompson said he also had vacant space in other buildings in Invercargill that he would offer to tenants in the Menzies building.

Thompson said there was a lot of vacant space in the Menzies Building, but had no plans to sell it until he was approached earlier this year.

The seven-story building, which also includes a warehouse in the basement, was inaugurated in June 1966.

“The offices are in good shape which is a bit of a shame so I have mixed feelings about that. But I see it still makes a good hotel, considering the view, and it’s convenient to town.

Southland Community College is the building’s largest tenant, but Thompson said it has shrunk in recent years as well.

The architects and engineers were already starting to plan the transformation of the Menzies Building into a new hotel.

Geoff Thomson, based in Invercargill and owner of national hotel chain Distinction Hotels, will take over the building from Gaire Thomson in March of next year.

“By the time we’re done, it will look like a whole new building. It will help tidy up the city and make the place more beautiful, and it only adds to the city, ”said the hotel owner.

In addition to the broader real estate deal revealed on Friday, Geoff Thompson had also purchased decaying buildings belonging to Invercargill City Council on the lower part of Esk Street.

This space would be used as part of the hotel complex.

The buildings have been a nuisance for the council since they bought them between late 2011 and early 2012.


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