Possible tenants named
The Hastings District Council is looking for a new tenant for its historic Stoneycroft homestead.
Stoneycroft’s architecture is described as Victorian Carpenter Gothic style. The homestead was built in about 1875.
Other buildings on the site included a dairy, store, implement shed, pump house and woolshed.
The homestead is also surrounded by trees of special botanic interest, because of their uniqueness or because they are good specimens.
The council bought the building in 2005 and has spent money on repiling, reroofing, installing fire protection and repainting the exterior.
The interior needs renovating, which will be considered once a decision on its future use has been made.
A digital archive and an artistic design centre are the two front running businesses which could move into the historic 130-year-old Stoneycroft homestead in Hastings.
The two initiatives are among four which have been presented to the homestead’s owners, the Hastings District Council, as it looks for a suitable tenant for the 2.4ha Omahu Rd site, which it bought in 2005.
This month, the council agreed to ask Hawke’s Bay Digital Archive and Cicada Works for more detailed business plans for their use of Stoneycroft.
A third proposal, from Hawke’s Bay Woodturners Guild, is also a possibility, but could perhaps fit in with either of the two top initiatives in the running.
The council’s strategic assets manager, Colin Hosford, said in a report that a fourth initiative, proposing a resident caretaking role, wasn’t what the council was looking for.
He said to meet the criteria, those interested in the homestead had to show their proposals would raise the attraction, heritage or reserve values of the historic site.
Mr Hosford said the successful candidate would have to prove it could help the council contribute to the upkeep on the homestead.
Cidca [Cicada] Works at Whakatu wanted to set up Cicada Park at Stoneycroft, which would be a centre for creative and manufacturing arts and design, based on sustainability.
Hawke’s Bay Digital Archive had the historic homestead in mind for incorporating archive storage and exhibitions, as well as a public meeting space.
Hawke’s Bay Woodturners Guild wanted to relocate its woodturning clubroom to the homestead and create a learning centre there.
Mr Hosford said the proposals from Cicada and Hawke’s Bay Archive were attractive, and would add to the special heritage values of Stoneycroft.
“While both proposals have a number of attractive elements in terms of arts, tourism, sustainability and heritage values, both are arguably somewhat light on revealing what they can financially bring to the table,” Mr Hosford said.