New development for historic Hastings newspaper site

Former Hawke's Bay Today property to be revitalised by local developer

The property as at 201-209 Queen Street East, Hastings, as it stands today

The former Hawke’s Bay Today property in central Hastings has been bought by a local property company that plans to revitalise the historic site into a unique commercial precinct.

Danny Blair of Colliers International last week brokered the sale of 201-209 Queen Street East, on the corner of Karamu Street East, which has been vacant since 2013.

He has now been appointed by the new owners, Hansen Property Group, to lease office tenancies within the vibrant redevelopment being planned for the site.

“This is a superb opportunity to locate your business within a contemporary office environment that nods to the site’s industrial heritage,” Blair says.

“Hansen Property Group plans to create an exciting commercial precinct that will retain some of the character of the historic site, while providing new-generation office and retail spaces with generous landscaping and car parking.

“Inspired by recent developments in Auckland and Melbourne, the owner’s vision is to create something new for Hastings with an industrial, modern aesthetic using landscaping as a key design feature.”

The high-profile corner site was occupied by various Hawke’s Bay newspapers for more than 100 years.

The first occupant was the Hawke’s Bay Tribune, which built a two-storey Edwardian office building on the corner, and a printing press next door, in 1911.

Developers Hansen Property Group are planning a revitalised new office precinct on the site

The newspaper stopped publishing after the office was damaged in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, and the upper floor had to be removed.

A year later, the company was bought out by the publisher of the Hawke’s Bay Herald, which repaired the ground floor of the building.

The newly formed Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune continued to publish from the site until it merged with Napier’s Daily Telegraph in 1999 to become Hawke’s Bay Today.

Hawke’s Bay Today moved to new offices nearby in 2013, and the property has sat derelict since.

Blair says it’s been an amazing deal to be involved with.

“Hansen Property Group have creative plans and a lot of vision for this project, which will further rejuvenate the Hastings CBD.”

Blair says no tenants have been confirmed yet, although Colliers International has been talking to a number of prospective businesses.

“We’re keen to hear from anyone with commercial requirements who could be interested in locating their business to this site,” he says.

“With detailed design work yet to take place, this a chance to work with the owners to create your own tailor-designed tenancy in the heart of the Hastings CBD.

“Various office sizes will be available, and there is also potential for a cafe on the site.”

The Hansen Property Group’s principal Rob Hansen says many of the buildings will be refurbished to retain their heritage value.

“The buildings will have a refined industrial aesthetic with exposed timber trusses, steel windows and in situ concrete frames,” he says.

“This will be combined with modern office environments featuring open-plan spaces and private meeting and break out areas.

“The landscaping will be an important component of the project with the objective of creating an original environment that people enjoy working and interacting in.”

Hansen says the buildings will be brought up to more than 80 per cent of seismic strength regulations, while environmentally sustainable design principles will be employed throughout.

“It is exciting to be part of the rejuvenation of this area of Hastings. With the work being done on the Opera House and the opening of new cafes, restaurants, bars and retail at this end of Heretaunga Street, it is a prime location for tenants.”

Blair says the site is one of the larger CBD landholdings sold in the last few years, making this development a fairly unique prospect.

“With its corner location, flexible tenancy sizes and generous off-street car parking, we envision this offering will be fully leased fairly promptly.

“Don’t hesitate to get in touch to be part of this exciting new development.”

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