Napier Hill’s skyline has started to change.
Since being closed down in 1998, the site of the city’s former hospital has been empty – slowly going derelict through inattention, intrusion and even armed and emergency service training exercises.
The hospital’s old wards were first to be demolished – Lower and Upper Robjohn are gone, Thomas Gilray has been swept away.
Now the hospital’s main block is coming down and like the building itself – the work is hard to miss – especially when large chunks seem to be carved out of it by the day.
The site will be cleared and twin, high-rise apartment blocks will take the place of the main hospital block building, with lower-set housing spread around the site.
Long-term tenants will soon reside on the site where short term patients had recuperated since 1880.
The closing of Napier’s hospital is still a sore point for many and having what appears to be high-end apartments – something out of reach for average Hawke’s Bay incomes built on the site may not help feelings – especially when there are still so many similar apartment complexes, with empty apartments, already around Napier.
But it must be said it is far better to have the site used, rather than going to waste as it had been for the last twenty years.
Napier Hill deserved better!