A big new development in central Hastings will bring Queens St East into the 21st Century while still maintaining a nod to the past.

The site at the former Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune building will be transformed to "re-invigorate" Hastings, developer Rob Hansen said.

An artist's impression of the new courtyard off Warren St. Image / Supplied.
An artist's impression of the new courtyard off Warren St. Image / Supplied.

Demolition of the tower section of the former Herald-Tribune building had progressed well and the developer was working closely with Hastings District Council to help keep the historic facade.

A digger on the roof of the Herald-Tribune building. Photo / Warren Buckland.
A digger on the roof of the Herald-Tribune building. Photo / Warren Buckland.

"The objective is to complete it in two stages. The tower block will be completed by Christmas and the remainder by the end of January.

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"We have engaged an architect and a local landscape designer, who is going to do all our internal courtyard design. It's going to be a lot different sort of environment, with trees, gardens and pot plants, along with seating areas."

A structural engineer would design a way to break out the block walls between the former Hawke's Bay Today building and the adjacent building, formerly used as a health centre.

"We're going to put some glazing in there and are looking to get some pop-up shops and that sort of thing in there."

There had already been quite a few hospitality-based businesses expressing an interest in setting up in the development.

"We've also got quite a lot of office-type tenants and we are working with the council to try and secure some out-of-town, high-tech type of tenants into the building. It's going to be good for the city, it's going to re-invigorate Hastings and put some pride into the place."