Wallace Developments is extending the Tech Hub concept to Havelock North and Hastings and Napier CBDs.

Wallace created the first collaborative/collective Tech Hub in Ahuriri, primarily for telecommunication company NOW which outgrew its Onekawa base. Xero is the second-largest tenant but several smaller companies are also in residence.

Wallace's development manager Mike Walker said there was very strong interest in co-working spaces with hot desks and meeting rooms.

"We are now completing Bridge St in Ahuriri and without really advertising we have seen a massive take-up of that space," he said.

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The next Tech Hub is due to open in August in Havelock North, where current Napier Rd tenants include Hawthorne Coffee Roastery and Espresso Bar.

Following will be a two-storey building at the back of Postie Plus on Emerson St in Napier.

The fourth Tech Hub will be in Hastings' Heretaunga St East, a two-storey building which currently houses childrens' clothing retailer T & T at street level.

Mr Walker said all buildings had high ceilings and were "not conventional office spaces".
"We are trying to do something that is a bit cooler - a bit more modern."

Wallace - one of the country's leading development companies - will remain landlord with terms flexible.

"It certainly seems to be what people want. There are an awful lot of small business working from homes that don't want to commit to long lease terms but want an office out of the house. Certainly some of the people moving into the collectives are in that situation."

Wallace was "big enough" to sign short tenancy agreements after major refurbishments, some agreements per week including internet, printing and utilities.

"It is a gross occupancy rate which people are attracted to - they know exactly what it is going to cost them each week."

Wallace Developments, based in Havelock North, plans to roll out the concept nationwide.

Logan Stone director Frank Spencer said Tech Hubs would disrupt the traditional office market, with each hub having the potential to become like a conventional CBD: a cluster of people with individual purpose and a need for social interaction, supplies (coffee/food/parking) and connection to ancillary requirements.

Turley & Co director Pat Turley said the economic significance of ICT services was increasingly prevalent, with businesses looking for "cross-pollination and synergies".

"The net result is less real estate employed per person, making better use of the property outlay for businesses.

"What was once a Silicon Valley model is now local to Hawke's Bay. It has to be good for the region."