Walking down the main streets of Ashburton, it is difficult not to notice the grand Murney Main. Taking shape on the corner of East and Burnett Streets, Murney Main is a feat of architecture and engineering that will become home to several local businesses. Sleek, beautiful yet practical, Murney Main combines modern and traditional architectural approaches. Eye-catching copper cladding and a spacious balcony are just a few of the elements that make this building unique. “We decided to build something substantial and give the CBD a kickstart,” Willie Murney, COO of Murney Trust, said.
The Murneys, a well-known family who have lived and worked in Ashburton for generations, started looking for a new home for their headquarters two years ago. Having worked with Leech & Partners for over fifteen years, they naturally reached out to Associate Director Julie Inwood to discuss their exciting plan. “Julie has been on board since day one,” Willie said. “We ran every big decision past her. She gave us advice on planning, found the site for us, and helped us get tenants. She’s so easy to work with and puts in that little bit extra. Leech & Partners care about our business and they know the best way to help us get the results we want.”
Murney Main was originally intended to be a two-storey building, but once local businesses heard about it, the plans grew to a spectacular four-storey building that will become Ashburton’s tallest building and home to four Canterbury businesses.
One of those businesses will be The Fine Lion, a restaurant owned by clients of Leech & Partners, Matt and Belinda Fine. After running Kelly’s Café and Bar with great success for the last five years, the Fines were looking to expand. The Fine Lion will be a welcoming, warm restaurant featuring a ‘nook’—a private room that can host up to ten people for private functions—and a large balcony with cosy outdoor fireplaces and weatherproof TVs. Blankets will be available when it gets cold so people can enjoy sitting outside and take in the breath-taking views. “It’s exciting,” Matt said. “It’s something Ashburton hasn’t had before.”
Julie works with both the Murneys and the Fines, putting in every effort to make Murney Main a success. “This project is a product of our work with Leech & Partners,” Matt said. “It’s been effortless and seamless, and Julie has been great to work with.” Willie expressed he was excited for The Fine Lion to open and to work with the Fines.
It takes a village to build something as spectacular as Murney Main. Leaders in the flooring industry with Cantabrian roots that go back 80 years, Leech & Partners client Dominion Flooring was an obvious choice for the Murneys when it came to the floor for Murney Main. Willie wanted something remarkable for the third floor and Dominion Flooring delivered. “We’ve used a special kind of timber, and we’ve installed brass trim that runs around the edge of the panels,” John Holderness, Commercial Contract Manager at Dominion Flooring said. “It’s not a standard project, it’s been interesting and fun.”
“There’s a real Canterbury connection in this project,” Sam Dore, Manager of Dominion Flooring said. “The Murneys, Leech & Partners and ourselves, it’s been great.” Sam said that working with Nick Walls from Leech & Partners has been excellent. “He can relate to the stresses of running a business like ours. He understands our requirements and he’s great to work with. He’s really focused on the customer.”
The stunning copper cladding was installed by another Canterbury business and Leech & Partners client, The Architectural Roofing Company who specialise in high-end roofing and cladding. Using innovative techniques and technical expertise, Marcus Mariu and his team have delivered a product that not only invites people to stop and stare but will stand the test of time. “We’ve always liked natural products, so we decided to clad it with copper,” Willie said. “The Architectural Roofing Company did a great job. It’s a complicated build, but they’ve made the process easy for us.”
Marcus, Managing Director at Architectural Roofing Company, works closely with Glen White at Leech & Partners. “Working with Glen is awesome,” he said. “He’s got great ideas on how we can best run our company. He’s a very approachable person and a great sounding board.”
Murney Main is scheduled to open in November this year. The Murney family are excited and welcome people to come and take a look, grab a blanket, and enjoy a drink at The Fine Lion. “It’s got a great view that changes every day. If it is nice and clear you can see the mountains.”