The University became the beneficial owner of the assets and liabilities of the College of Education on the campus by merger in 2004. The campus was declared surplus to requirements in August 2016.
The successful tenderer for the main campus is Ryman Healthcare, which plans to convert the land and buildings on the former Karori campus into a retirement village with independent and serviced apartments and a care centre.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says the tenders that were received for the site were assessed against community outcomes and commercial arrangements. No offers were received for the campus buildings from public sector organisations.
Ryman Group Development Manager Andrew Mitchell says Ryman is delighted to have secured the site for the retired people of Wellington. “It is an iconic site in the city’s largest suburb and we’re pleased it will continue to be a significant community asset for the city.”
Mr Mitchell said he expected considerable interest from the community in plans for the site and the Ryman team would be consulting widely with local people, community groups, Heritage New Zealand and local iwi.
Earlier this year, two early childhood centres on the Karori campus site were transferred to the Ministry of Education. More recently, the Wellington City Council concluded its purchase of a parcel of land on the former campus to provide additional car parking adjacent to the Karori swimming pool.
Some other residential properties on the campus have been offered back to the original owner or their successor or sold on the open market.
Interest from the proceeds of these sales has been used to create the Ngā Hoe a Kupe Pathfinder Scholarship programme, which supports students from disadvantaged communities in the Wellington region to study at Victoria University.
The proceeds from the sale of the rest of the campus will be used for further strengthening the University’s buildings and the future provision of modern facilities for Victoria’s Faculty of Education, which is now operating from temporary facilities on the University’s Kelburn campus.