Historic Wellington Airport air traffic control tower for sale

It's not every day that a former air traffic control tower from a busy international airport hits the real estate market.

But Wellington Airport's now decommissioned control tower at 36 Tirangi Road is now officially for sale.

Opened in 1959, the old tower was home to Airways air traffic controllers managing flights into and out of the airport for 60 years. The new 'leaning' control tower was opened further down Tirangi Road in 2018.

Airways Chief Financial Officer James Young said the old tower has become a local landmark and was affectionately known by some neighbours as '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," 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."

The tower is the only one in the world that had its own letterbox.
The tower is the only one in the world that had its own letterbox. Photo credit: Wellington City Council

Some of the building's features aren't exactly what you'd normally see in the real estate section of a newspaper:

  • A cramped floor plan
  • Narrow stairs-only access to all four levels
  • A lack of natural light in many areas, and only one toilet
  • Hasn't had a lick of paint in at least the last decade
  • The kitchenette is circa 2000 chic
  • Requires asbestos removal and earthquake strengthening

But once you've spent the time and money on all the restoration, you'll have unbeatable views from Evans Bay to Lyall Bay and beyond. Plus, it comes with what was once much more common: a quarter acre section.

The tower is also the only one in the world to have a residential address and its own letterbox.

The land the tower sits on has recently been rezoned to allow for for residential development.

The control tower is being sold by Tommy's Real Estate, with the commission from the sale being donated to the Wellington Children's Hospital Foundation.