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Historic medical pioneer’s home and healthcare centre placed on the market for sale

Tags: Commercial

The home and doctor’s clinic built for one of New Zealand’s medical pioneers – and still operating more than 110 years later as a commercial healthcare practice – has been placed on the market for sale.

The two-storey premises at 75 York Place in Dunedin was purpose-built in 1903 for New Zealand’s first woman medical graduate, Emily Hancock Siedeberg who graduated from Otago University in the late 1800s.

Dr Siedeberg lived in the home with her mother and siblings, while simultaneously using part of the ground floor as her consultancy practice. Emily Siedeberg’s professional kindness and empathy for assisting young women who had become pregnant outside of marriage – a societal stigma in that era – gained her a Florence Nightinglae-like reputation in Dunedin.

Dr Siedeberg went on to become the medical superintendent of Dunedin’s St Helen’s Maternity Hospital – the first hospital in New Zealand to feature an antenatal clinic, as well as being a medical officer at Caversham Industrial School, and an anaesthetist at Dunedin Dental School.

She was awarded a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) decoration in 1949. Emily Siedeberg was also one of the first females in Dunedin to own a motor vehicle – an imported Clement-Bayard car built in 1909. Emily Siedeberg Place in the city is named in her honour. She died in 1968.

A year later Otago Polytechnic’s School of Architecture and Building remodeled her York Place property into a more commercial lay-out. Over the ensuing years it went on to be utilised by the school’s arts and nursing faculties.

The privately-owned premises was further remodeled in the early 2000s into its present configuration – which ironically took it back to the floorplate Emily Siedeberg envisaged more than 110 years ago – with a commercial tenancy layout on the ground floor and four individual en-suited residential spaces upstairs utilising communal kitchen and laundry amenities.

The freehold land and buildings at 75A and 75B York Place are now being marketed for sale by Bayleys Dunedin, with offers being taken until August 23. Bayleys Dunedin director Robin Hyndman said the property’s multiple income streams – encompassing both commercial and residential tenancies – offered a split-risk investment opportunity.

The property generates a gross rental of $97,400 + GST annually from its six tenancies on a combined floorspace of 245 square metres. The two commercial tenancies on the ground floor consist of: • Appearance medicine practice Beauty Spot Ltd, occupying 65 square metres on a three year lease running through until 2020 paying $30,000 + GST per annum, with two further three-year rights-of-renewal. and • Scalp enhancement consultancy Advanced Hair Studio, occupying 45 square metres on a one year lease running through until October 2017 paying $18,000 + GST per annum, with one further one-year right-of-renewal.

“The property’s location so close to the very heart of Dunedin city underlines its attraction to both the clientele of the commercial tenants, and the residential tenants on the upper level,” Mr Hyndman said.

“Surrounding properties in the vicinity feature a mix of commercial and residential uses – including accounting and architectural firms, community aid organisations, and the banking sector. Immediately to the rear of the property is a block student accommodation dwellings.

“The remodeling and refurbishment programme undertaken on the property in the late 2000s saw the plumbing, electrical wiring, and interior décor all brought up to a modern standard, which has subsequently ensured a long and strong tenant commitment on both floors.”

Mr Hyndman said the building was fully compliant with fire regulations – encompassing hard-wired smoke and heat detectors, fire doors, signage, and alarms.

He said that under the current leasing conditions, there was also the opportunity to derive an estimated $3640 + GST additional revenue from leasing two car parks associated with the property which were currently unutilised.

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