New Greytown 'hub' near complete

By Hayley Gastmeier hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz -
2 comments
The building within the Greytown Hub development in the town's historic precinct is almost ready, and will house a number of businesses including a new dental centre. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER
The building within the Greytown Hub development in the town's historic precinct is almost ready, and will house a number of businesses including a new dental centre. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

The company behind a large new building within Greytown's historic precinct say they have gone to a lot of effort to ensure it fits in.

Westwood Commercial is behind the new Greytown Hub development, which will house a number of businesses and is close to completion.

The company refurbished the historic former Four Square building on Main St last year and it now accommodates Indian restaurant Aroma, retail store Deluxe and the 2 Short Whites cafe, and The Gallery@the hub.

To the left and set to open soon is a newly built two-storey building that will complete the shopping complex, with a dental practice and other businesses.

Company director Steve Pilbrow said while the new building "may not be everyone's cup of tea", the firm went to a lot of effort to ensure it fitted within the heritage values of the town.

"Some people feel that the building doesn't fit, however the shape and form have the characteristics of the Emporos building opposite."

Mr Pilbrow said the "longitudinal style" of the windows was a modern take on the Victorian style architecture that Greytown was renowned for.

"When building any new building in an historic precinct, it is important not to fall into the trap of trying to recreate the old.

"We live in the 21st century and we need buildings to meet the needs of our changing environment.

"The combination of materials, being the plastered columns and the new weatherboard profile, create a dramatic effect and highlight the vertical windows."

To reduce the impact of the new building on the historic Public Investment Building Society building next door, it was set back slightly so the columns and frontage on the heritage building remained open to view.

Mr Pilbrow said the building was fully tenanted and would be opening soon.

Only one available retail space remains in the complex and is in the former Four Square building.

"Having attracted two new businesses from Auckland, I think the redevelopment of the Greytown Hub has been a fantastic addition to what is already a thriving town.

"As we now see the end result of the existing building, the landscaped boardwalk area between the two buildings, and the shape and form of the new building, it is mind-boggling to think back that the council saw fit to prosecute us," Mr Pilbrow said.

In March last year, the South Wairarapa District Council laid a charge against Westwood Commercial for the partial demolition and alteration of the exterior of the former Four Square without a resource consent.

Mr Pilbrow said he had been in discussions with council staff about the development plans and he had received "positive feedback" on the proposed changes.

The judge declared it had been a "genuine error" by Mr Pilbrow, who had "considered, wrongly, that the council had given the required resource consent".

The judge also said that no harm had been done to the heritage values of the precinct.

Westwood Commercial pleaded guilty and was fined $11,000.

Mr Pilbrow said the company was looking forward to the Greytown Hub's grand opening.

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