Selected Projects > the Loan and Mercantile Building - Dunedin New Zealand

The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile building, constructed in 1873, was New Zealand’s first ever grain storage building and is a central part of the first stage of the regeneration of the City of Dunedin’s waterfront. Paul was selected due to his long relations with the City of Portland’s development patterns, his association with the Portland Development Commission (PDC), and his skill at using the lessons learned as a model for this project. Representatives from the City of Dunedin visited Portland in 1997 and the CEO of the Otago Chamber of Commerce visited with the PDC in 2011 to study how the city was successful in revitalizing its declining industrial areas. The City of Dunedin attempted to embark on the same process in 2005 with a plan change process, but opposition from industrial tenants stalled the process. Though the plan change was withdrawn in 2012, a considerable amount of infrastructure (pedestrian walks, restaurants and a Chinese garden) has been developed in the area around the Loan and Mercantile building. The building's owners have since applied for planning consent to realize the vision for this area of the City and this building of national importance. The NZ Heritage Trust supports the proposal and there has been much recent and increasing public interest in the redevelopment of the waterfront and the building. In May, 2016, Mr Ries was invited back to Dunedin to help re-imagine the concept.