Designer Jacob Scott describes the new Pocket Park Courtyard as a little piece of Melbourne, except on a busy street in Hastings.

The new courtyard is set to officially open on December 19, with the idea to uplift that area of Hastings.

Earlier this year the shop at 325 Heretaunga St was demolished, but the Art Deco facade was kept and enhanced, with a park developed behind it.

The project fits into the Hastings City Vibrancy Plan, which aims to encourage more people to enjoy the city centre, leading to more business and vitality.


"It's designed to be a top-middle-end link way. A lot of money has been spent on this project, it's all granite paved, there's LED lighting right through gardens, it's going to look pretty good," Scott says.

"Businesses on either side of it will have the opportunity to open up into it later on if that's what they want to do."

The big area on one side of it is vacant and up for sale at the moment, so prospectively it could make a difference to a business going into there. The council has been surveying potential businesses that might be interested. There's room for smaller businesses to be adjacent too, such as hairdressers and coffee shops and things like that.

"If you've been to the middle of Auckland or to Melbourne lately, well that's the kind of space you'll be looking at here - it will be a real uplift."

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the new city park would build important connections, help beautify the 300 Block, and provide a space to sit and enjoy lunch.

"We are making our city attractive and vibrant. We are very proud of projects like this one, which improve access and connectivity, and which are a key part of making our city great."

The new space boasts beautiful deco-style windows which were originally hidden by a veranda, along with structural elements designed to complement them. A glass canopy will be attached above the windows which will protect pedestrians from the weather, while accentuating the windows and columns.

The elegant city centre park, with gardens and seating areas, will double as a laneway between the main shopping street and a public car park off Queen St West.