Owners of refurbished former Napier Post Office building want businesses to move in

The earthquake-strengthened former Napier Central Post Office building has now been re-tenanted - though there are still ...
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The earthquake-strengthened former Napier Central Post Office building has now been re-tenanted - though there are still a few spaces left.

One of the few Napier central city buildings to survive the 1931 earthquake is up for lease.

The heritage-listed art deco building was deemed earthquake prone in 2011, and its then anchor tenants - New Zealand Post and Kiwibank - were forced to move out to allow for the strengthening work to be undertaken.

Following an extensive thee-year refurbishing and remodelling project, which was completed in early 2014, the building can now being re-tenanted.

The 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake remains New Zealand's deadliest natural disaster.
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The 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake remains New Zealand's deadliest natural disaster.

The three-storey building on the corner of Dickens and Hastings streets in Napier's central business district was built in 1930 and previously housed Napier's Central Post Office.

READ MORE:
Central Post Office returns to CBD
Retail space in old PO Building

Just one year later, at 10.47am on February 3, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Hawke's Bay killing 256 people and devastating the Hawke's Bay region. It remains New Zealand's deadliest natural disaster.

The former Napier Central Post Office was one of the few large buildings in the region to survive the quake.

Since the refurbishment project, Vodafone, the New Zealand Post, Cafe Adoro, Accura Accounting, and Indelible Film and Video Marketing have signed up to tenancies.

The first of the current foundation and cornerstone tenancies moved into the Dickens St premises in the first quarter of 2014, with others following suit over the ensuing 26 months.

The property is owned by Waste of Space Aviation.

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Its managing director, Gerald Grocott​, said the character of the former post office building had been "meticulously maintained" to blend in with surround premises in the art deco quarter commercial zoning.

"The Central Post Office is an integral part of Napier's history and we have always envisaged the building would play an active role in a thriving CBD."

Bayleys Napier leasing broker Sam MacDonald believed the former Napier Central Post Office (CPO) building would become an anchor premises for the retail and commercial regeneration of the city centre.

"The ramifications of the Canterbury earthquakes, in terms of older style buildings having to be strengthened to meet new builds standards, has actually been a bonus for the Napier CPO," he said.

"If it hadn't been for the new build requirements, the CPO building could well have remained in a functionable but somewhat dated state."

The ground floor has one remaining tenancy of 77 square metres available, which would appeal to retail or service operations, MacDonald said.

Meanwhile, the second floor has four spaces available - ranging in size from 110 square metres up to 226 sqm.

With current high office lease rates being experienced in Auckland, alternative destinations, such as Napier, offered great value to entrepreneurs wanting to relocate their growing business to far more affordable surrounds without compromising on building quality, he said.

The property owner's had "new-to-town businesses" in mind as tenants, MacDonald said.

They were also offering substantial incentives for the top floor space in a bid to entice organisations, who were currently located in larger centre, to relocate to one of Napier's landmark properties, he said.

The reformatted interior was designed by Paris Magdalinos Architects, while the structural engineering build was jointly undertaken by Structural Concepts and Gemco Construction.

The building is now 100 per cent of the new building standard (NBS).

 - Stuff

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