CPO building ideal commercial space

5:00 AM Saturday June 11, 2016 Paul Charman

Napier’s former Post Office is now fully refurbished and stengthened

The three-storey art deco building, on the corner of Dickens and Hastings Streets.

Commercial leasing tenancies have come on to the market in the completely refurbished and modernised historic building that previously housed Napier’s Central Post Office.

The three-storey art deco building, on the corner of Dickens and Hastings streets, dates from 1930 — one of the few large structures to withstand the 1931 earthquake.

The heritage-listed art deco building was deemed earthquake prone in 2011 and its then anchor tenants, the Post Office and Kiwibank, moved out to allow for the strengthening upgrade work to be undertaken.

The building is to be re-tennanted following an extensive thee-year refurbishing and remodeling programme, which was completed early in 2014.

Already signed up to tenancies within the premises are Vodafone, which has signed on for 74sq m of retail space; New Zealand Post, leasing 388sq m of commercial space; Cafe Adoro on the ground floor with a 201sq m street presence; Accura Accounting, occupying 236sq m and Indelible Film and Video Marketing, leasing 221sq m.

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

Now the remaining retail and office space is being leased by Bayleys Napier.

Leasing broker Sam MacDonald believed the former post office 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 building 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 new floor plate, however, has opened up space for a greater number of tenants utilising the existing space far more efficiently – all of this while retaining the high ceilings, central entrance foyer, dual-story floor to ceiling windows, and stone façade reflective of the city’s Art Deco precinct.”

The property is owned by Waste of Space Aviation, whose 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 history and we have always envisaged the building would play an active role in a thriving CBD.” Mr Grocott 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 now has a new build standards (NBS) rating of 100 percent.

The ground floor has one remaining tenancy of 77sq m available. MacDonald said that with the ground level-frontage and adjoining businesses already operating, this premise would appeal for retail or service operations.

Both the first and second floors have dual access points from two separate lobbies, with their own toilet and shower facilities.

Meanwhile the second floor has four spaces available – ranging in size from 110square metres up to 226sq m.

MacDonald said some floor plates on the upper floor had potential to be combined into bigger sized configurations, including incorporating the entire 710sq m into one dedicated tenancy boasting excellent natural light and sun throughout the day.

“The various sizes of the commercial space now available for lease on the upper levels caters for a broad range of corporate and professional tenancies wanting a modern premises in the heart of the city,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the street level retail premises are suitable for the likes of ‘destination’ businesses with specialised services – such as a dry-cleaner, computer sales and repair operator, or health and beauty professional – rather than a business relying on high foot traffic volumes.”

The 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.

MacDonald said that with “new to town” businesses particularly in mind as tenants, the property’s owners were offering substantial incentives for the top floor space in a bid to entice organisations currently located in larger centers to relocate to one of Napier’s landmark properties.