- If you’ve ever wanted to own an air-traffic control tower, now is your chance.
- One is for sale in Wellington, New Zealand, but it needs plenty of TLC.
- Once you take care of the asbestos and get used to the cramped quarters though, you could live out an aviation nerd’s dream.
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A piece of New Zealand aviation history could be yours, but it’s going to take some TLC.
A historical air-traffic control tower next to Wellington’s airport is for sale, on a prime hillside plot of property with “unbeatable views” of the town and harbor. Built in 1959, the old tower served for 60 years before its replacement was built farther down the road, according to its listing.
“If the views and character aren’t enough to hook you, the tower is believed to be the only one in the world to have a residential address and its own letterbox,” the company says.
But DIY-ers beware: the tower will take some work before it’s a home for any aviation enthusiast. First and foremost it’s full of asbestos, the listing says, and also requires some earthquake-proofing. This is New Zealand after all.
And if you do want to convert it to a home, it might be an interesting transition.
The tower “boasts many of its original 1957 design features, including a cramped floor plan, narrow stair-only access to all four levels, a lack of natural light in many areas, and one toilet,” the listing says. “It has had a lick of paint in at least the last decade and the kitchenette is circa 2000s chic.”
The real-estate firm in charge of selling the parcel says the land is worth about $363,000, and has the “possibility of development” into something completely different. That might sadden some locals, though, who nicknamed the old tower “Arnold.”
“It has sat up there on the hill and served us well for 60 years, so we will have some mixed feelings about seeing it go,” Airways CFO James Young said.
“While we know it’s most likely that the property will be bought by a developer and cleared to build new homes, it’s nice to imagine the old tower being given a new life through some creative grand design.”