Hastings CBD has attracted in excess of $80 million of private investment, says Sandra Hazlehurst, acting chair of the Hastings City Business Association. The redevelopment of key anchor sites are at various stages of completion.
"Our city will see a significant change by the end of the year.
"The new Farmers store in Heretaunga St will provide a much needed anchor for the CBD. The smaller speciality stores will benefit from the additional foot traffic and it will encourage retailers to trade on Sundays to prevent our locals from having to travel to Napier to shop on the weekend."
The current Farmers for Home store is being redeveloped into a fashion base with anchor tenant Cotton On and now Caroline Eve confirmed to open later this year. Discussions are progressing with a number of other retailers with the site expected to be fully occupied by 2013.
Discussions are also well advanced on the current Farmers store in Market St with tenants expected to be announced soon. Construction of a carpark at the rear of the existing Farmers store has started.
Progress is also being made on the eastern half of the CBD.
Redevelopment of the old Power Board building in Heretaunga St East is in progress to meet the growing demand for quality office space in the CBD. The property was recently purchased and following construction works, the building will meet 100 per cent of current earthquake strengthening requirements.
"Progress is finally being made on the Albert Hotel. The Historic Places Trust is reviewing the status and the site is now going to auction again. Hopefully there will be a successful sale this time and we'll see some action.
"It is an eyesore and detrimental to both surrounding landlords and businesses."
The owners of the cinema complex in Heretaunga St East are hopeful the cinema will reopen in the near future following positive discussions with a number of movie operators.
The Kmart Plaza is also set for a significant facelift with the building being sold to Auckland company Windermere Holdings last week. Centre manager Robyn Burns said upgrade works would start this week.
"The new owners are very proactive and experienced and are already working through upgrade plans," Ms Hazlehurst said. "Building will commence on a covered seating area outside Muffin Break and you can expect to see a much needed repaint and carpark works this side of Christmas."
Building activity on the old Mitre 10 site in St Aubyn St is now well advanced with the building converted to a number of smaller 1000sq m and 2000sq m stores. Tenant announcements are expected soon.
Construction continues at The Park Mega Centre with Fishing, Camping Outdoors being the latest tenant to open.
"Retail developments can take several years to come to fruition but finally the pieces of the Hastings puzzle are coming together," Ms Hazlehurst said. "By Christmas, Hastings will look significantly different."
New 6000sq m Farmers Store in Heretaunga St West opening July.
Farmers for Home fashion redevelopment, Heretaunga Street West opens September 2012.
Farmers Family Store redevelopment, Market Street to start in July.
Albert Hotel, Heretaunga Street East going to auction in June.
Power Board building on Heretaunga Street East is being converted to office space.
Reading Cinema complex, Heretaunga Street East is in discussion with cinema operators.
Kmart Plaza, Russell St upgrade in progress now.