News, Events and Culture

Hoffman Kiln to provide a unique development opportunity

Thursday December 20 2012

Those with experience in restoring historic buildings are being called on to submit innovative development concepts for the future use of one of the country’s leading historic industrial buildings.


Built around 1916, the Hoffman Kiln was in use up until 1959. It is a Category One Heritage Building and is a rare and late example of a Belgian-type kiln designed by W. Secombe.

Many of the buildings in The Square were constructed with bricks manufactured by the Kiln.

Located at 615 Featherston Street it is owned by the Higgins Group who along with the Palmerston North City Council and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust is pleased to launch a development profile and a design brief calling on submissions.

The site has been used for a range of activities over the years, including an asphalt plant and a garden centre.

The New Zealand Historic Places Trust central region area manager David Watt says all parties wish to see the block of land developed and the Kiln restored and developed into a viable new use. He says the Historic Places Trust is prepared to offer funding to do repairs to the kiln to support an appropriate new activity.

City planner, David Murphy says the 1.6 hectare site would suit a wide range of activities such as a residential subdivision, group housing or a retirement village.

"However," he says "the parties are willing to consider alternative and adaptive uses that will provide a secure future for the Hoffman Kiln. The potential to redevelop the site with the adjoining industrial land at 605 Featherston Street might also be a consideration."

David Murphy says in recognition of the cultural heritage significance of the Hoffman Kiln, the Council will provide 'in kind' support to prospective developers in terms of planning advice and assistance with the development of an appropriate district plan framework to support an acceptable development of the Kiln site.