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Proposed Regional Napier/Hastings Retail Complex

Media Statement
Wednesday May 7

Proposed Regional Retail Complex for Napier Hastings Expressway

A major shopping complex mid-way between Hastings and Napier would provide a constructive regional answer to Hawke’s Bay’s clear need for large format retailing, according to three local businessmen.

David and Jonathan Brownrigg and Andy Lowe yesterday asked Hastings and Napier’s Mayors to support a proposed retailing project that would bring Hawke’s Bay’s two cities together for the long-term benefit of the region.

“Rather than have large format stores scattered throughout the two cities it makes so much sense to group them in an attractive central location,” they said.

“We believe a united approach will give both Napier and Hastings residents the best chance of a successful large format retail development that meets their shopping needs, is clearly differentiated and complements the Central Business Districts. It would also benefit the wider Hawke’s Bay region.”

“As a region, Hawke’s Bay is moving ahead, but it does not have a major retail complex and consumers are missing out.”

They presented the meeting of Mayors and Council Representatives with a joint proposal to establish a regional retailing complex on part of 70ha of farm land midway between Napier and Hastings and adjoining both the Expressway and State Highway 50.

They said the proposed project is a win-win solution adding economic benefit to both cities and the wider region. The site, which is mainly bare land, is easily accessible to people from Napier and Hastings and there would be little disruption to existing communities.

The retail complex would front the main expressway which has a traffic count of 17,000 cars a day.

Travelling time from both Hastings and Napier is about ten minutes, and the proposed site is also in very close proximity to Taradale and the EIT. It has the major benefit of being a green-fields site, which does not encroach on residential properties. This would make it easily the least disruptive option for the two communities.

The Brownriggs and Mr Lowe asked to meet with both Councils because Hastings and Napier have been undertaking separate investigations for large format retailing in each city.

“We would like the Councils to consider this proposal as part of their consultation processes because we see it as a winning formula for both cities.
The Brownriggs and Mr Lowe said they wanted to be confident of the concept and the land’s potential before talking openly about the idea.

They commissioned Retail Consulting Group Ltd, retail specialists in retail planning, architecture and retail analysis, to complete a preliminary retail study on the region and the site.

By coincidence RCG, which consults to major national retailers, had recently visited Hawke’s Bay searching for possible sites between the two cities, they said.

RCG’s Paul Keane told the meeting the land met all the criteria retailers looked for.

The study showed that in terms of meeting the needs of the region’s consumers, Hawke’s Bay is under-catered for by more than 90,000 square meters of retail space.

In comparison, other regional centres with smaller populations such as Tauranga and Rotorua have bulk retailing complexes.

“With a population of 120,000 it is unusual both nationally and internationally not to have retailing complex of a major scale.

“Given this, RCG believes Hawke’s Bay has the demand for developing a retail focus which encourages consumer support with the least possible impact on the existing shopping environment”.

Initial approaches to major retail firms indicate strong interest in supporting a single regional large format solution for Hawke’s Bay, he said.

The Brownriggs and Mr Lowe said they were asking people to think regionally and focus on wider growth and future development which attracts significant investment, provides employment. and strengthens Hawke’s Bay’s economic prospects for the next 20 to 30 years.

“We have started the process, and RCG’s study supports our initial concept. We are very excited about the prospect for this venture.”

“To make it happen people need to believe in a regional approach and see this as a golden opportunity for both Napier and Hastings.”

“To do this we need to gain feedback from Hawke’s Bay residents and earn
their support.”

Ends


David and Jonathan Brownrigg, and Andy Lowe are working jointly on the proposed Regional Retail Expressway Development.

They have lived in Hawke’s Bay all their lives, and through their respective businesses are committed to the long-term growth and prosperity of the region.

Brownrigg Agriculture

The Brownrigg brothers operate Hawke’s Bay’s and one of New Zealand’s largest farming enterprises.

Brownrigg Agriculture is a diversified farming business covering livestock and cropping, along with associated ventures in research and management systems.

The company has a permanent staff of 60, complemented with up to 250 seasonal staff throughout the year.

Based at Poukawa in Hawke’s Bay, the Brownriggs’ farming operations stem from Nuhaka, north of Wairoa to Martinborough in the south and Palmerston North in the west.

Hill Country Corporation

Andy Lowe has an extensive business background predominantly in land-based industry.

His company Hill Country Corporation has interests in farming, horticulture and properties in New Zealand and overseas.

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