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Industrial themed craft beer hospitality hub mooted for high-profile central-city block

The property in central city New Plymouth’s Gill Street has served as a car dealership sales and service centre for some 40-years. However, with the tenant vacating the location early next year, new tenants are being sought for the 410-square metres of buildings sitting on some 1.045-square metres of land.

And one of the most innovative opportunities proposed for the buildings and land is the establishment of an industrial-themed craft beer hub suitable for sustaining multiple food and beverage operations.

The location at 73 Gill Street is being marketed for lease by Bayleys Taranaki, with salesperson Darryl Taylor noting that the precedent for developing a world-class craft beer hospitality hub in an industrial location had been set in Upper Hutt over the past three years.

Brewtown is located within Upper Hutt’s 36,000-square metre South Pacific Industrial Park which previously housed the Dunlop tyre making facility. It is now New Zealand’s foremost craft beer hospitality destination hub – home to five craft breweries and a distillery, including the well-known ale marques Panhead, Boneface, Te Aro, Kereru and Good George.

“Craft beer is all about being cutting edge - so the notion of converting the Gill Street car yard into a new hospitality hub fits very much with that ethos, and would see New Plymouth right up there alongside Wellington and Auckland for being at the forefront of hospitality,” said Taylor.

“New Zealand’s craft beer psyche is very much down-to-earth.... certainly not shiny, brand new and faux. So the history of Gill Street block would sit perfectly with one of New Zealand’s leading craft beer makers, Garage Project, for example, which was founded in the former premises of a petrol station in the Central Wellington suburb of Te Aro,” said Taylor.

“Taranaki’s very own craft brewery, Shining Peak, is already doing very nicely in the locale just a few doors down.... so the foundation for the creation of a craft beer hub in the strip has already been laid.

“Likewise, it would appeal to Auckland-based beer brand Brothers, whose first venture into the hospitality market some 10-years ago was in the industrial warehouse complex of what was Auckland Council’s central city fleet workshop and machinery maintenance plant.

“It could also attract the likes of fellow Auckland beer brand Epic Brewing which operates it’s hugely popular on-premise outlet in the middle of an industrial suburb, and Beer Spot which has industrial-outfitted premises among its portfolio of venues in Auckland.”

Building infrastructure within 73 Gill Street and its physical layout, is stereotypical of the design styles sought after by craft beer outlets. The two buildings within the site feature a mix of exposed wooden/steel beams and rafters supporting corrugated iron roofs, with concrete floors, and multiple roller door access points.

“The trend for many New Zealand craft beer venues now is to partner with food truck operators for the provision of menu services, and the large central car parking yard in the middle of the Gill Street premises would amply accommodate this,” Taylor said.

“Both buildings on site also have prominent street frontage and are packed with character – with one formerly used as a car sales showroom with full height windows and large sliding door directly onto the pavement, while the other building is set back slightly but also has the potential to be totally opened up in a showroom or hospitality format.”

Taylor said that under a more conservative format, the Gill Street property could also be leased to another motor vehicle or motorcycle dealership seeking high profile sales and servicing premises in New Plymouth’s central business district.

Located one street back from New Plymouth’s Coastal Walkway and close to the city’s biggest multi-screen cinema complexes, a craft beer hub including Shining Peak would expand the attractiveness of the city’s existing hospitality precinct some 500 metres away.

New Plymouth has a culture of leading the way in hospitality trends. The city’s Good Home pub for example was the first concept bar of its type to open in New Zealand a decade or so ago – with the template going on to be replicated in multiple venues across Auckland, as well as in Tauranga, Blenheim, North Canterbury, and Christchurch.

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