Changes in store for erstwhile convent buildings

A historic convent building in Newton has found a new life as a bookshop.

And another former convent in Grey Lynn has just been sold for $4.1million.

Warwick Jordan who runs Hard to Find Bookshop needed a new home for his 90,000 books.

His shop was in Onehunga but the building was sold and the new owners wanted a commercial rent.

Even after he had raised $27,000 on the Givealttle website he still did not have enough to keep going.

So Jordan asked Bishop Dunn if the Catholic church has any suitable property available.

The Church offered him a vacant building in Newton which had been a convent.

It had once been, for a short time, home to St Mary of the Cross, Mary MacKillop.

It was in poor condition but it rent was within Jordan’s reach.

He used the money from his Givealittle campaign to buy 2km of timber for shelving.

And he spent about $100,000 refurbishing the building.

The  Hard to Find Bookshop reopened for business in its new location last week.

The other convent at 454 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn, is a 1922 Spanish Mission-style building.

It has not been in church ownership for 25 years.

The Tower Group purchased it in 1993 and it has been on-sold since then.

It did have a Heritage B status but that has been lifted

Now known as the Hotel California it has become a boarding house for needy people who are a bit down on their luck.

Auckland Council last year served health notices on the then owner who was given a month to fumigate the building and arrange for cleaning and repairs.

At that time the owner, Rentyn Turner, would not comment when approached by the Herald at the boarding house.


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