Former woolstore being transformed into tech and innovation hub in Napier
The former industrial area of Ahuriri in Napier is continuing its transformation into a bustling seaside village with work underway to convert a former woolstore into a tech hub.
Wallace Developments is converting a former woolstore building on Bridge Street into a multi-unit development "technology and innovation hub".
The company was granted resource consent by Napier City Council in August to convert two adjoining properties on the corner of Bridge and Riddell Streets into seven tenancies, including a cafe.
The anchor tenant will be NOW, a local business that provides broadband and calling services throughout Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Kapiti, Rotorua, Taupo and Whakatane. Spark bought a 26 per cent share in the company last year. The company is presently based in Napier's industrial area of Onekawa.
A building immediately behind the woolstore is being demolished to create 60 car parks.
The development will include "expansive indoor and outdoor common open space areas to service the building and create a sense of place for which technology and innovation can be associated", the application said.
The main entry will be off Bridge Street via an atrium and and common area. The saw-tooth roofline of the existing woolstore will be retained and "design outcomes will be in keeping with the existing character of the areas predominant industrial theme".
Wallace Development Company development manager Mike Walker said as well as NOW four more tenants had signed up to occupy space.
The development should be completed by January, he said.
"We're offering something that's not a new concept but these tech hubs do seem to be increasingly popular, and that has been evident in the take up we've had for this space," Walker said.
The site is one block back from the waterfront, is zoned as residential, and includes four properties.
The company has applied to demolish the existing buildings on the four separate properties, including the 1,985sqm warehouse, amalgamate the properties then create 18 separate lots and build 18 dwelling units.
Demolition was proposed to occur once consent was granted and would take 2-3 weeks to complete.
The company lodged its application on August 31. Council is presently awaiting more information, and the application is unlikely to be notified.