The demolition of Napier City Council's former Civic Building on Hastings St is probably one of the largest in living memory, says property strategist and valuer Pat Turley.

Its demolition is being put out for tender with the cost estimated at more than $1 million.

Napier City Council voted unanimously for the demolition. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan
Napier City Council voted unanimously for the demolition. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan

The building was abandoned in 2017 after it was found to be earthquake prone.

The cost of strengthening was estimated to be $75 million.

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The fate of the adjoining council-owned library and four-floor building is yet to be decided. They were also vacated in 2017 but have a slightly higher seismic rating.

They could be part of redevelopment or brought up to current building standards.

Napier City Councillor Sally Crown. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan
Napier City Councillor Sally Crown. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan

Napier City councillor Sally Crown said redevelopment would have a positive impact on the city.

"I'm looking forward to seeing this end of town come back to life."

"There's lots of potential. The hotel I suppose is one of those options in front of us - or one of those potential activities to come out of it - but it is great to see that we are going to move forward, hopefully, draw a line under this so we can utilise an asset and utilise the land that's there, in order to benefit the entire city."

Turley said a well-designed and successful hotel would add vibrancy.

"I would imagine it would be a hotel with hospitality and perhaps some retail."

Earthquake strengthening is an issue affecting building owners across the country. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan.
Earthquake strengthening is an issue affecting building owners across the country. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan.

Building owners throughout New Zealand have been forced to make similar decisions for several years, because of heightened seismic requirements following the Christchurch earthquakes.

"Some building owners are challenged around the economics of strengthening the buildings," Turley said.

"They are earthquake prone and the definition is 34 per cent of New Building Standard or less.

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"There are considerations around buildings that are more risky than others with regard to public proximity. So buildings that are in places that might affect the public are higher priority.

"Also if they are Zone 1 they are higher risk - that's the West Coast of the South Island and Canterbury, the East Coast of the North Island including Wellington.

Zone 1 in red includes Wellington and the entire East Coast to Tairāwhiti. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan
Zone 1 in red includes Wellington and the entire East Coast to Tairāwhiti. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan

"There's a question there around economics - it is pretty tough on some building owners.

"Particularly if theirs are older building stock, their status is very poor and the cost of strengthening is high compared to the commercial value of the building - in terms of its rent and investment value."

The fate of the adjoining council-owned library and four-floor building is yet to be decided. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan
The fate of the adjoining council-owned library and four-floor building is yet to be decided. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan

Napier City Council voted unanimously to put the demolition of its Civic Building out to tender, with a clean slate theoretically making the site more attractive to developers.

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