One of the first buildings to be rebuilt at Hastings following the 1931 earthquake is for sale - complete with a plush four-bedroom apartment.
The two-storey premises at 129 Heretaunga St West was home to the town's Bank of New South Wales branch. The bank had been operating from the site since 1884 - including in its second incarnation after 1894 when most of Hastings' central business district was razed by fire.
Then when the calamitous Hawke's Bay earthquake struck in 1931, all the city's banks were destroyed - apart from the wooden-framed Bank of New South Wales which only suffered minor damage.
However, the bank's Australian owners decided that in keeping with other banking institutions having their premises rebuilt after the shake, the New South Wales branch should follow suit. A new structure - designed by Wellington architects Crichton, McKay and Haughton - opened in 1936. Over the decades, numerous alterations followed - with internal upgrades and refurbishments in 1955, 1966, 1973 and 1976. Westpac, the modern re-incarnation of the Wales, occupied the premises until the late 1980s, when the bank relocated to another property in nearby Queen St East.
Since then, tenancies in the Heretaunga St West building have included McIvors Butchery, Vault 129 Cafe, Panache Hair Design, Icehouse Bar and Grill, NZ Post, Mad Max Restaurant, Temptations Massage Parlor, Geneva Finance, East Bay Finance and clothing retailer Pagani.
Insurance company AMI now occupies the 229sq m ground floor level, as well as an additional 89sq m of mezzanine level commercial space.
Meanwhile, on the upper level, a 279sq m four-bedroom/four-bathroom art deco apartment - complete with lift and high-stud ceilings - has been designed and built to meticulous standards. In addition to a full central heating system, the residence has a video motion security and alarm system. The mixed-used freehold property is being jointly marketed by tender through Bayleys Auckland and Bayleys Napier, with tenders closing December 6.
Salespeople Simon Davies and Paul Garland say the property is zoned Commercial allowing for a dwelling upstairs.
Davies says AMI is on a six-year lease, running through until 2023, generating a net rental of $60,000 per annum, with two further three-year rights of renewal. The 590sq m property has a new build standard rating of 67 per cent.
"The creation of the upstairs residence provides the opportunities for either an owner/occupier to purchase what is the most stylish apartment home in Hastings' central business district, with a revenue-producing tenancy downstairs, or for an investor to secure two totally separate income streams from one property. From an investment perspective, the apartment could be let as a commercially-operated short-term tourist accommodation venue - sustained by the attraction of staying in one of Hawke's Bay's most authentic art deco properties.
"Under this dynamic, it's reasonable to expect the serviced apartment could achieve a nightly rack rate of $500 - rising to $800 peak season. The building's style is stripped classical - little ornamentation, but traditional vertical proportions and a balanced composition. The building rises off a granite-faced plinth at the base straight to a flat parapet which is distinguished by a small cornice," says Davies.
Garland says the 'trophy' building, sitting on 356sq m of land, retains its art deco authenticity.
The facade retains a seamless combination of original and added art deco features. The interior decor reflects intense attention to detail - from the bank's replica corporate crests etched on the floor-to-ceiling glass and chrome entrance doors, through to the plaster ceiling rose in the dining room and 1930s period light fittings throughout.
Heretaunga St West is Hastings' spinal retail route - stretching 2.2km and home to a variety of food and beverage outlets and retailers.