A reminder of the past – a place in the future
In March, Onehunga Community News wrote about the demolition of most of the factory buildings that were part of the old Woollen Mills site on Neilson Street.
All we knew at the time was that the site had been bought by a developer, and new plans for the site were on the table. Now we know that 25 freehold units are being built, and that the two heritage listed buildings at the front will remain as the centrepiece of the new industrial unit complex, already under construction.
The original Onehunga Woollen Mills were established in 1886 to manufacture woollen cloth. It was one of the first woollen mills in the country, employing 90 people by 1900. Initially, it built a reputation for quality blankets and rugs. The Te Ariki range of blankets are now collectors’ items, and both the Auckland War Memorial Museum and James Wallace Arts Trust have examples in their collections. The factory went through numerous owners over 127 years of production but in later years it was better known for producing carpets under a variety of brand names.
One of the heritage buildings will be sold as an operating industrial unit, and the other will become a café or restaurant. They will serve as a reminder of Onehunga’s industrial past, while continuing to play a role in our current and future industrial landscape.