Dunedin City Council has secured a site on which it will construct the new South Dunedin Library and Community Complex.
The site, at 138-156 King Edward Street, is owned by local property investor, Positive Property Limited (PPL).
Council has been working with PPL – who purchased the site after a fire destroyed the old Wolfenden and Russell buildings in 2020 – as part of a proposal to build the new library and community complex there.
“This is a prime site in the heart of the South Dunedin community and the new facility will really help to bring people together,” says Dunedin Mayor, Jules Radich.
“As well as providing a library and DCC service centre, the new complex will also provide space for community use including meeting rooms, creative and IT learning spaces, plus a recording studio. It will have wide a range of uses and I’m sure it will appeal to a wide range of people.”
These features were identified by a 2019 Community Co-design Panel as being important to the community, the Mayor said. The panel included representatives from sectors including mana whenua, disability advocacy, older people, child and youth, migrant and refugee communities, Pasifika, local businesses, community support, environment, and residents from across South Dunedin.
“The end result will be a stunning, welcoming facility, in a convenient location, which everyone can be proud of. This is an exciting development for South Dunedin and for the city,” said Mayor Radich.
Former South Dunedin Community Network Chair and a member of the Community Co-design Panel, Eleanor Doig, today welcomed the announcement of the new site.
“We are thrilled that we will finally have our long awaited Library in South Dunedin, and in such a wonderfully central space,” she said.
The Council had originally earmarked a site it owns at 278 King Edward Street for the library development.
The matter was recently considered by the Council, which voted unanimously in favour of the proposal to purchase the land and the building to be constructed at the old Wolfenden and Russell site because it can be built sooner and more cost-effectively than originally planned, Council said in a statement today.
“PPL will build a two-storeyed building to a shell stage, and the DCC will then complete the fit out. In total, this is estimated to cost $21.4m with the fit out concept still under development. This is significantly less than the latest high-level estimate for the demolition of existing buildings at 278 King Edward St and the construction including fit out of a new complex there,” Council said.
“It is expected the new facility could now be open by mid-2025, whereas work on 278 King Edward Street wasn’t due to begin until at least 2025.”