A Napier CBD site which for decades has been a hub of travel and tourism activity could become home for those just staying put.
The site was once the depot and head office of now long-gone bus company the Hawke's Bay Motor Co, then a travel company, more recently Tourism Hawke's Bay headquarters Tourism House, and latterly a walk-through between Dickens and Station streets flanked by a mix of retail and commercial tenants. It is now being earmarked by real estate agents as a site for a new inner-city apartment and retail complex.
It has been tipped for a major refurbishment and repurposing to create a new mixed-use complex, blending ground-floor retail or hospitality with upstairs apartments to help meet a demand for inner-city living in Napier amid a swelling population regionally and a shortage of quality housing.
The 1784sq m block of freehold land and buildings is scheduled for auction on March 19.
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Bayleys sales agent Kerry Geange said the site provides an opportunity to capitalise on the growing interest to live, work and play in this region, as well as use creative thinking to realise a legacy project which could be a cornerstone of Napier CBD revitalisation.
The walk-through, developed from the historic tunnel depot for buses on inter-city and distance runs, presents an opportunity for a modern "laneway" project, supporting retail and hospitality tenancies at ground level. It currently has parking space at the rear.
Geange, who is marketing the sale with fellow agent Mark Evans, said residential accommodation on the upper levels is a "compelling option", with a current supply shortage of 1,500 residential dwellings, and a need for 10,000 new homes in Napier by 2045.
Geange said nine existing tenancies, generating net rental income of about $135,000 plus outgoings and GST per annum, would provide income while plans were being made.
Built in the 1960s, it has an Initial Evaluation Procedure seismic rating of 34 per cent of new building standard – with a structural solution identified to achieve 80 per cent of new building standard as part of a refurbishment.