His­toric bank build­ing for sale

The Hastings Mail - - FRONT PAGE - CHLOE WIN­TER AND JULIE ILES

One of the first com­mer­cial build­ings in Hast­ings to be re­built af­ter the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earth­quake is up for sale.

The two-storey build­ing, on the cor­ner of Here­taunga St West and Mar­ket St, was once the town’s Bank of New South Wales branch, which be­came West­pac.

The bank has been op­er­at­ing from the site since 1884, though it had a sec­ond in­car­na­tion af­ter 1894 when a fire de­stroyed most of Hast­ings’ cen­tral busi­ness district.

When the Hawke’s Bay earth­quake struck in 1931, all the city’s banks were de­stroyed, apart from the wooden-built Bank of New South Wales which suf­fered only mi­nor dam­age.

How­ever, the bank’s Aus­tralian own­ers de­cided to that in keep­ing with other bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions hav­ing their premises re­built af­ter the shake, the New South Wales branch should fol­low suit.

Welling­ton ar­chi­tec­ture firm Crich­ton, McKay and Haughton was com­mis­sioned to de­sign the new build­ing, which opened in 1936. Over the decades, nu­mer­ous al­ter­ations were made, with in­ter­nal up­grades and re­fur­bish­ments un­der­taken.

West­pac oc­cu­pied the premises un­til the late 1980s, when the bank re­lo­cated to an­other build­ing in nearby Queen St East.

Since then, ground floor ten­an­cies in the build­ing have in­cluded a butcher, bar, a post shop, restau­rants and cloth­ing stores.

On the up­per level, there is a 279 square me­tre lux­ury, art deco apart­ment.

Bay­leys sales­man Si­mon Davies said the prop­erty was zoned for com­mer­cial use, with al­lowance for a res­i­den­tial dwelling up­stairs.

Davies said AMI was on a sixyear lease in the premises run­ning through un­til 2023, gen­er­at­ing a net rental of $60,000 a year, with two fur­ther three-year rights of re­newal. The 590sqm prop­erty has a new build stan­dards rat­ing of 67 per­cent.

‘‘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 rev­enue­pro­duc­ing ten­ancy down­stairs, or for an in­vestor to se­cure two to­tally sep­a­rate in­come streams from one prop­erty,’’ he said.

‘‘The build­ing’s style is clas­si­fied as ‘stripped clas­si­cal’, with lit­tle or­na­men­ta­tion.’’

From an in­vest­ment per­spec­tive, the apart­ment could be let as short-term tourist ac­com­mo­da­tion, Davies said.

Bay­leys agent Paul Gar­land said the ‘‘tro­phy’’ build­ing re­tained a high level of art deco au­then­tic­ity and sat on 356sqm of land.

Here­taunga St West is Hast­ings’ main re­tail street, stretch­ing more than 2 kilo­me­tres and home to a va­ri­ety of food and bev­er­age out­lets, cloth­ing re­tail­ers, house­hold goods and ser­vices pur­vey­ors, and small pro­fes­sional ser­vices firms.

The for­mer West­pac build­ing on the cor­ner of Here­taunga St West and Mar­ket St in Hast­ings is on the mar­ket.

On the up­per level, there is a 279-squareme­tre lux­ury art deco apart­ment.

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