Archdiocese of Wellington looking to sell Hill St site

Wellington Catholic archdiocese

The Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington is looking for a partner to buy and develop some land next to the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

The sale includes the now-empty Catholic Centre, the Archbishop’s residence, the parish house, and surrounds.

Earlier, Wel-Com, the Archdiocesan newspaper, reported that PwC is managing the process.

Ideally placed and considered one of the best locations in Wellington, the property is across the street from Parliament, close to the Central Business District, and up the road from the city’s train station and central bus hub.

The Archdiocese says the site is underutilised commercially, so one objective is to unlock some of the capital tied up in the property.

The Hill Street site has been with the Archdiocese since the time of the first bishop, Philippe Viard.

Wel-Com reports that the property is considered very important for the archdiocese’s future.

Poor seismic report

The Catholic Centre closed in April 2022 after a seismic report rated some key structural elements at just 20 per cent of the New Building Standards (NBS).

“Once the peer review is received, we will be in a position to make decisions around whether the Catholic Centre can be strengthened and we can one day return there, or whether our move out of the Centre needs to be permanent” said then Archdiocesan General Manager John Prendergast.

The peer review assessed the building at 40% NBS.

At the time, Prendergast said that the archdiocese’s offices would be back on the site and incorporated within any redevelopment the archdiocese undertakes.

Prendergast has since resigned and taken up a position at Trust House in the Wairarapa.

The staff who worked in the former Archdiocesan headquarters now work at 204 Thorndon Quay.

The archdiocese has a four-year lease on the Thorndon Quay property with the right of renewal for another year.

CathNews understands several developers have expressed interest in the Hill Street development.


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