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Hitting new heights

An artist’s impression of the new four-storey apartment block planned for Greytown. IMAGE/SUPPLIED.

Greytown’s skyline is set to be lifted by a new retail and apartment block, reports BECKIE WILSON.

Wairarapa is set to get its first purpose-built apartment block – a four-storey building in the heart of Greytown.

Westwood Land Developments Ltd managing director Steve Pilbrow announced on Tuesday that he had entered into a contract to purchase the Greytown Little Theatre building on Main St which will make way for the development.

The plan is to have 10 high-end residential apartments on the upper levels, with two retail spaces on the ground floor, along with garaged parking.

The two- to three-bedroom apartments will range in size from 130m2 to 240m2, each with decking and open-plan living areas. They will be accessed by an elevator.

The earthquake-prone theatre building will be demolished with construction expected to begin next year.

Pilbrow said the development was likely to be the tallest building in Greytown, and “it would be the region’s first apartment block”.

The apartment building will comply with the Wairarapa Combined District Plan which mandates buildings cannot exceed a height of 15 metres.

“As property prices have soared in the Greytown area, it’s about maximising the use of the site to meet the market,” Pilbrow said.

Resource consent was required as the site sits within the Greytown heritage precinct.

David Kernohan, a heritage architect and deputy Environment Commissioner, was asked by the developers to assess the suitability of the concept within the precinct.

Pilbrow said Kernohan’s report, included in the resource consent application to South Wairarapa District Council, but not available to the Times-Age, indicated the building attempted to be in tune with the street’s architecture, and the historic heritage precinct, by using familiar materials such as weatherboard, timber railings, and glass.

The building would be “arguably a polite addition to the street”, the report said.

Pilbrow said the design of the building was in keeping with the theme of the town, and he had already received expressions of interest in the retail spaces and apartments.

The company was behind the Greytown Hub development in 2016, and the apartment building has been designed by the same architect, Daniel Casas.

Pilbrow said “although there was controversy over the Hub development in Greytown, it would be fair to say that most now see this as an asset to the town”.

Westwood was also the developer behind the Westwood Ave subdivision, the Mike Pero/Alluminus Beauty building at the south end of Greytown, and several residential projects in the South Wairarapa area.

Once resource consent was approved, the existing building would be demolished while building consent was being obtained for the new building, Pilbrow said.

Greytown Heritage Trust chairwoman Carmel Ferguson said the trust could not comment on the development as it had only received information on the plans earlier in the week.

Council planning and environment group manager Russell O’Leary said the council received the resource consent application on July 27.

The Greytown Little Theatre is set to be demolished. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

The show will go on

The sale of the building which the theatre group had occupied for 17 years would not be the end of the show for the group.

Chairman John Gilberthorpe said plans for a new home on council-owned land along West St were “well-advanced”. It was hoping to complete it in the next two years.

Over the next two years, Gilberthorpe said its productions would be held in various venues in the town, and even across South Wairarapa district.

“It’s not too sad to leave the building [but] having said that, it holds lots of fond memories from the past plays and productions we have done there, and the people and the friendships.

“While the building has its limitations, it met our needs.

“We had a lot of fun doing productions there, and we have entertained a lot of people there over the years.”


  1. It’s way too high for a building in the heritage precinct — at least one storey too high if not two. And where you let one in, more will follow. At least part of the reason why land values have gone up in Greytown is its reputation as one of the prettiest and most untouched historical villages in NZ. Developments like this will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  2. Greytown is and will continue to be a beautiful TOWN, These new apartments , if they meet SWDC guidelines,are very desirable. They will blend nicely with the new buildings around them.
    Progress involves change,
    We are not Arrowtown. True Heritage buildings have been retained and most restored. Greytown Business community have been pushing the commercial aspect and this is an obvious next step. and we should welcome diversity and development. Our TOWN is changing whether you like it or not. It is up to Council to make sure the Town has the infrastructure and ammenties to cope, not only with this project but the other subdivisions which are yet to be built on. Traffic is more of a concern . Come on Greytown people, lets not be so negative.

  3. It is a beautiful town, and its time we accepted diversity of style, while retaining and restoring true heritage buildings. This apartment block will complement other new buildings that are around that same area. As long as it meets currents guidelines, let it happen. I’m sure the spin off for businesses, won’t have them complaining!
    . I bet these apartments will appeal to a great number of people. The business groups have been promoting Greytown , so now this the next step. Not everyone wants to own a heritage building , new appeals, and progress does involve change. This is not Arrowtown .Come on Greytown , we are so fortunate a developer is considering our TOWN.

  4. Feel This would ruin the Main Street. The developer made a very good job of the hub so perhaps we should see what other ideas he comes up with. We don’t need anything as tall as what he is proposing. Our problem in Greytown is the council seem to let everything get planning, we will be bigger than Masterton at this rate. Our wonderful village life will be gone for ever.
    They are now Cutting down our lovely Oak trees (even the ones with a preservation order on them), just look at what they are trying to do in Wood Street.

  5. This isn’t about the beautification of Greytown. It is purely about a developer maximising the number of dwellings he can fit into a set footprint of land. Only he and the estate agents will profit. The look and ‘feel’ of our pretty and well preserved village will not. People visit Greytown for the charming architecture on the main street – not a block of flats.

  6. I’m not averse to progress but seriously, a four-storey apartment block for the main street of Greytown? This will just be the first development that will open up the town to similar high-rise buildings. We – residents, developers and the SWDC – need to think of the long-term impact on Greytown.

    Greytown has always had a strong sense of its heritage. We should think carefully about allowing too many modernist developments that – despite the noises from the developers – really wouldn’t look out of place in Ponsonby or Merivale.

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