Medical pioneer’s home for sale

5:00 AM Wednesday August 16, 2017 True Commercial

The two-storey premises at 75 York Place in Dunedin was built in 1903. Photo / Supplied

The home and doctor’s clinic built for one of our medical pioneers — and operating 110 years on as a commercial healthcare practice — is for now sale.

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

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

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 made CBE in 1949 and was also one of the first women in Dunedin to own a motor vehicle — an imported Clement-Bayard built in 1909.

Siedeberg died in 1968, and Emily Siedeberg Place in the city is named in her honour.

A year later Otago Polytechnic’s School of Architecture and Building remodelled 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 now privately-owned premises was further remodelled in the early 2000s into its present configuration — which ironically took it back to the floorplate Siedeberg envisaged more than 110 years ago. This comprises a commercial tenancy layout on the ground floor, plus four individual en-suited residential spaces upstairs, with 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 taken until August 23.


The property has a commercial fit-out on the ground floor. Photo / Supplied

Bayleys Dunedin director Robin Hyndman says multiple income streams — with both commercial and residential tenancies — comprise a split-risk investment opportunity. The property generates a gross rental of $97,400 per annum net from six tenancies on a combined floorspace of 245sq m. The two commercial tenancies on the ground floor consist of:

  • Appearance medicine practice Beauty Spot Ltd, occupying 65sq m on a three-year lease running through until 2020 paying $30,000 net pa, with two further three-year rights-of-renewal.
  • Scalp enhancement consultancy Advanced Hair Studio, occupying 45sq m on a one year lease running through until October 2017 paying $18,000pa, 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,” Hyndman says.

“Surrounding properties in the vicinity feature a mix of commercial and residential. Immediately to the rear of the property is a block of student accommodation dwellings.

“The remodelling and refurbishment of the property in the late 2000s saw the plumbing, electrical wiring, and interior decor all brought up to a modern standard.”

Hyndman says the building is fully compliant with fire regulations encompassing hard-wired smoke and heat detectors, fire doors, signage, and alarms.

“Under current leasing conditions there is also opportunity to derive an estimated $3640 net additional revenue from leasing two car parks not currently used.