Ground floor of Hastings landmark for sale

1:00 PM Wednesday May 6, 2015 Colin Taylor

The ground floor of the former Hawke’s Bay Farmers Co-op department store building at 124 Market St North, Hastings is for sale.

The ground level of the historic three-storey former Hawke’s Bay Farmers Co-Op building, on the corner of Hasting’s Market St North and Queen St in Hastings, has been placed on the market for sale.

The property, at 124 Market St North, is featured in Bayleys latest Total Property portfolio magazine and comprises three adjoining freehold titles with Paul Garland, Bayleys Napier salesperson, selling the retail level through expressions of interest.

Garland says the vendor wishes to retain ownership of the first floor and the second floor is owned by Penkev Properties – the husband and wife team of Kevin and Penelope Atkinson.

“Kevin is also a director of the company IMS that has its national head office on the whole of the second floor - resulting in the building being known today as The IMS Building.”

Garland says the ground floor for sale encompasses 947 sq m with an additional 500 sq m of basement area. It is seismically rated at 70 per cent of New Building Standard (NBS) and is currently leased long term to the Cooperative Bank and telco’ company Spark - earning  $99,600 annually in net income from these leases, In addition the building offers $87,022 a year in possible income from unlet ground floor space.
“With restoration works largely completed by the current owners, the ex-Hawke’s Bay Farmers building has considerable upside potential to increase rental returns – with more than half the ground floor space currently vacant yet ready for immediate occupation.”

He says the vacant floor space is spread across three sites:

  • a 248 sq m ground-level retail premises valued at $49,600 per annum when tenanted;
  • a 163 sq m ground floor office space valued at $22,820 per annum when tenanted; and
  • an 88 sq m ground level cafe premises valued at $14,602 per annum when tenanted.

“The Farmers Co-Op building sits on 1085 square metres of land within Hastings’ central business district,” Garland says.

“Neighbouring tenancies feature a veritable Who’s Who of New Zealand’s banking sector including the BNZ, Kiwibank, ANZ, ASB, HBS Bank, National Bank and Westpac alongside sizeable retailers like Spotlight and Plastic Box.

The building occupies a regular shaped level site with a frontage width of 30 metres and depth of some 35 metres. The corner location and consequent prominent street frontage of the building, along with the central business district’s highest traffic volume pass immediately outside the entrance, offer excellent brand exposure for a head tenant or owner/occupier.

“In addition, the substantial number of commercial tenancies within a 200 metre radius would support a strong business case for the establishment of a food and beverage outlet – either branded or stand-alone – in the cafe space currently available for lease.”

Garland says the ground level premises all have high-stud ceilings which allow for a good flow of natural light and also enable the easy installation of high-speed telco’ cabling and air conditioning ducting.

He saysthe former Farmers Co-Op building adheres to heritage guidelines after having been restored by the current owners - still retaining its original façade and wide pavement canopy.

The building was designed by architect Edmund Anscombe who has been described as one of the most eminent architects to have worked in New Zealand.

124 Market Street North, Hastings - interior - bank counters.jpg

Cooperative Bank teller counters inside the building on street level.  

It is one of the few multi-storey art-deco commercial buildings to remain standing in Hastings after the catastrophic 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake has been placed on the market for sale.

Built two years before the big shake, its floating reinforced concrete foundations, supporting structures and beams substantially exceeded the building requirements of the time.

In the book The Encyclopedia of NZ, earthquake historians Peter Hallet and Peter Shaw described the building as: “Hastings’ most imposing and prominent survivor of the ‘quake.” Meanwhile, the New Zealand Herald dated February 11, 1931 reported that: “Although surrounded by crumbled buildings, the fine store stands proudly erect and unscathed” suffering only superficial damage.

Following the devastation of the 1931 quake and the region’s subsequent huge rebuild – similar to what Christchurch is experiencing now – Farmers Co-Op boomed as a retailing entity.

The ground floor of the central Hastings Farmers Co-Op building housed the city’s largest department store – stocked with groceries, china, clothing and hardware. A tearooms and meeting rooms were located on the first floor, while the second floor was a classical ballroom which played host to many of Hastings’ ‘socialite’ events for decades.

Edmund Anscombe also based his architecture business within the building.

In the early 1980s Farmers Co-op Association ceased its retail operations on the site and converted the block into commercial premises, which have been continually modernised and upgraded in stages ever since under various ownerships.

What’s on offer?

For sale: 947 sq m retail ground floor and 500 sq m of basement area.

Where: In former Farmers Co-op building, Hastings.

Location: 124 Market St North on corner with Queen St.

Agency: Bayleys Napier.

Sales method: By expressions of interest..


  • Long term leases to Cooperative Bank and Spark.
  • Earns $99,600 annually in net income from these leases.
  • Unlet space should earn $87,022 a year in possible income.
  • 30 metre street frontage offers high brand exposure.
  • Historical heritage as rare survivor of 1931 earthquake.