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Acquired for $10, sold for $27,999,990

Victoria University of Wellington pocketed $28 million for selling the Karori Teachers College campus to Ryman Healthcare.

Property records revealed yesterday show that a company controlled by retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare paid $28 million to the university for the site in December 2017.

The title to the 3.7-hectare site Karori campus site was acquired by the university from the Ministry of Education for $10:00 in 2014. The rateable value at the time of its sale to Ryman was $20.4 million.

Ryman, which has “32 friendly villages” across New Zealand has filed documents with Wellington City Council confirming its intention to demolish much of the campus, including the purpose-built gymnasium, theatre block, historic Panckhurst, Malcolm and Oldershaw buildings, and the Ako Pa Marae.

Heritage NZ campaigned to give the campus, designed as a teachers college by acclaimed New Zealand architect Bill Toomath, a category 1 historic place entry for its significance as one of New Zealand’s finest examples of Brutalist architecture.

Wellington City Council has acknowledged that it is powerless to stop the demolition.