A slice of Lyttelton history goes under the hammer

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A slice of Lyttelton history goes under the hammer

Tags: Auctions Canterbury Commercial

An historic institution at 48 London Street brings an opportunity for income, investment and ownership of a significant part of community history.


The quaint and unique property was built in 1893 as the home and business for well respected green grocer and providore for maritime travellers, Tommy Chang. He was to become a respected community businessman as a supplier of fresh vegetables and grains. The property became an integral part of the port and community.

Responsible for retail and storage of provisions, Tommy became a part of folklore and history. Recognised as a philanthropist and a leader in the community, Tommy’s acts will remain in the memories, photos and minds of many.

48 London Street was sold to the present owner in 2004. As a result of remediation and repair post-earthquake, the property now has two tenancies in place. The current tenancies include the “London Street Bookshop”, a quirky second hand bookstore and “The Shroom Room Cafe”, a retro style bar which offers food, craft beers, coffee and live music.

Bayleys Canterbury commercial licensee Harry van Tongeren speaks fondly of the property, “The beauty of this little place is that it’s got two different sorts of value, the investment value but also the community value. When you look at it you might think it’s just a tin shed with an old building in front of it but it’s much more than that!”

“The whole of Lyttelton suffered a major part in the earthquake catastrophe so the community needed little things to cling to. The cafe was one of the first to re-open post-quake and served coffees and food when other places were being

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demolished. People really gravitated towards the business”, explains Harry.

The diverse building has attracted an even more diverse selection of potential buyers, according to Harry van Tongeren.

“The next owners of this property have a chance to own a slice of Lyttelton history. They can look forward to being part of the future of the town and to the changes to come”, says Harry.

The property is offered for sale by auction at 1pm on April 30th. Contact Jeremy Speight, Harry van Tongeren or visit Bayleys Commercial Canterbury for more information.

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