Tamahere’s historic Mellow Manor may have secured an eleventh-hour reprieve with a couple expressing an interest in buying and relocating the building.
The NZ Transport Agency sought urgent talks with prospective buyers after earlier discussions to save the manor fell over.
The manor property, at the intersection of Pickering Rd and State Highway 1, was purchased by the agency in April as one of 92 full and partial properties required to build the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway, reports the Waikato Times.
NZTA Highway manager Kaye Clark said a couple had come forward with an offer to purchase the building.
HEB Construction, which was awarded the contract to build the 16-kilometre section of road, requires the manor site by September 2 when enabling work will start.
Construction of the section will start in January next year.
“We’re delighted this couple have come forward with a confirmed offer to relocate the building by September 2,” Mrs Clark said. “They certainly face a challenge but they are aware it must be gone from the site by that date.”
The agency had fielded a number of inquiries from interested parties wanting to acquire the building but the costs and logistics involved meant they had decided against purchasing the historic manor.
Mrs Clark said the agency would continue working through the final details with the couple on Monday but if the building is not removed by September 2 it would have to be dismantled.
Building advice suggested the manor would have to be relocated in four pieces at a cost of up to $100,000.
The building has also been significantly modified over the years to convert it into a function centre.
The consent requirements to bring it up to standards for use as a residential dwelling were expected to be considerable.
The 19th century English manor, with its distinctive white and black colour scheme, was a popular venue for weddings and functions.
Mellow Manor is listed as a historic building in the Waikato District Council’s district plan but it is not registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.