A sneak peak at the St James Theatre!

A sneak peak at the St James Theatre!

, Margaret Browne

Steve Bielby from Auckland Notable Properties Trust recently gave the Hampton Jones team an exclusive tour of the St James Theatre in Auckland, which is currently undergoing an extensive $65m redevelopment.

The historic theatre, music and cinema building was built in 1828 and is classified as a “Category I” historic place by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, but has been closed since 2007 due to safety concerns. The redevelopment will see the beautiful St James Theatre restored to its former glory - with the addition of a modern 42 storey apartment building integrated with the existing landmark.

Auckland Notable Properties Trust, who are responsible for the redevelopment have made a number of weird and wonderful discoveries during the project which has led to some unexpected results for their team!

- They’ve uncovered the original heritage tower, which was covered during a 1950’s renovation – and they’ve had to remove 3.5 tonnes of pigeon poo that has accumulated over the last 7 decades!

- They learned that the St James was once used as a gang headquarters and discovered a secret meeting room hidden from the public.

- They have discovered a 19th century cobbled floor; a remnant of early Auckland.

- They’ve found that the foundations of the building are much shallower than shown on the plans, resulting in tunnelling under walls and around the building.

The Hampton Jones team really enjoyed the visit to see the project at this early stage, and look forward to watching its progress as it breathes life back into this former city glory.

Thanks to Steve for hosting us, and to Nick for arranging it!