23 The Octagon, Dunedin Central
Lawrie Forbes, Zeal Land Ltd
Refurbishment cost estimate
$12 million, based on recommendations of feasibility work. Includes fit out, seismic strengthening, compliance work and professional fees.
- Athenaeum Institute Library
- New Athenaeum Tehatre (90-seat venue)
- The Thistle Cafe and Craic Bar
- Privately let office space
- Lower ground floor is currently vacant, but occasionally used for theatre productions, market space and film location.
Building Condition and challenges
- After many years of neglect, the current owner purchased the building with a view to saving it. Zeal Land are working to appropriately restore the building, but it is a time consuming and expensive task.
- Most of the building is in a poor/moderate condition and requires significant investment
- The building requires substantive seismic strengthening work and needs to be brought up to modern standards.
Status of Refurb Planning
- A feasibility study completed in June 2021, funded by the DCC’s Heritage Fund. This included wide-ranging consultation on the potential uses of the Athenaeum building and was commissioned jointly by the Athenaeum Institute and Lawrie Forbes.
The feasibility study concluded that an Arts Centre was the preferred option for the building. The recommendation was based on the brief from the landlord, the Institute, and the results of DCC’s performing arts feasibility study. This option was widely consulted on and supported by Dunedin’s performing arts community. Click here to see an early stage illustration of potential layout.