CBD

Population (2013 Census) 6,984
Highest Sale* (May 2010) $1,480,000
Median Sale* (2014) $375,000
Median Sale* (October 2015) $410,000
No. of Sales* (2014) 148
Median Rent (for 3 bedroom home trailing 6 months City / Maeroa / Frankton Junction) $380 per week
( *REINZ Statistics)

For Sale in CBD

Hamilton CBD History

Pre-European Hamilton CBD was vastly different from what it is today. A large hill occupied the land where Garden Place has been formed. The Kirikiriroa Pa sat between where Bryce and London streets are now. One of three significant villages in the area, Kirikiriroa was first settled by Ngati Wairere, a sub tribe of Tainui circa 1700.

In 1863, the Imperial British Army traveled down the Waikato River seeking suitable land for an outpost in the region after the Waikato Wars. The flat plateaus of land on the East and West sides of the river at the deserted cultivated terraces at Kirikiriroa were chosen as suitable platforms to establish a settlement of settlers, not soldiers as requested by the then NZ Premier, Dommett. William Australia Graham set about surveying the East Side first, and the advance party of 113 men, No. 4 Company, arrived in August 1864 to build a redoubt, the foundations of which are under the present Bridge Street Bridge.

The rest of the 560 men of the Fourth Regiment Waikato, almost entirely recruited from Australia, arrived shortly afterwards on the Rangiriri and set up camp on the Eastern bank of the river until a Redoubt was built on the West; its foundations can still be seen under St. Peter’s Cathedral. Hamilton was named after Captain J.C.F Hamilton of the H.MS Esk who died at the battle of Gate Pa in Tauranga.

The development of the outpost grew on both sides of the river concurrently, with land balloted to the militiamen; an acre in town, and dependent on rank - an allocation of farm land outside the East and West townships. However, most of the rural land was under water and inaccessible, and conditions in town were just as difficult; damp and cold wooden homes with dirt floors. The Tea Tree groves were so thick that flags were raised above houses so that children could find their way home after school. Roads were rudimentary and poor.

The settlers could own their properties if they stayed for three years. Many chose to desert, or head for the Gold Rush on the East Coast, resulting in the population of Hamilton shrinking to 250 in 1869.

There was considerable rivalry between the townships of East and West. The first school was built in 1864 on the west side, but one in Hamilton East opened soon afterwards, as crossing the river by punt was too hazardous for children. Livestock and residents were often washed overboard and lost with the regular flooding of the river. In order to qualify for a government subsidy to build a bridge, in 1877 the two settlements formed the Borough of Hamilton, electing J.R. Vialou as the first mayor. When the Union Bridge opened in 1879, it was originally a toll bridge. The Victoria Bridge replaced it in 1910, which today still links Hamilton East with the CBD.

The surveyor Graham had originally planned that Hamilton East would be the town centre, arranged like an English village around Steele Park, then known as Sydney Square because of the high number of Australian recruits. The first store was built on the corner of Clyde and Grey Streets and in the early 1870’s the East side had more commercial development than the west. Some consider that it was the land owner Le Quesne’s decision in 1875 to build Hamilton’s first bank on the corner of Hood and Victoria Street that changed the main business district to the West side. The original building remains now a bar and restaurant called "The Bank"

Life up until the 1900’s was a struggle in Hamilton. Despite the fact that the militiamen were good settlers, being young, aged between 18 and 40, generally married and with trades and crafts. However, the land was rugged and swampy, and Hamilton was isolated until the arrival of the railway. Many settlers subsisted on what they could grow on their town acre, and were employed in swamp draining schemes. The success and subsequent growth of Hamilton lay in draining the fertile soils that surrounded the settlement. When Canterbury and Taranaki farmers moved to the district they brought with them expertise in farm management, and with the advent of fertiliser, real prosperity was brought to the area.

Fire was a constant hazard in the early days. The wooden buildings on Victoria Street burned down twice, and many women died from burns tending "Coppers"; boiling washing on open fires, in their long skirts.

The city centre has undergone significant change. In 1939 the hill in Garden Place was removed with much of the dirt being used as fill to create flat land from gullies so that centrally situated land could be used for housing. Modern Hamilton is a bustling metropolis that has continued its expansion up Victoria Street. With a population whose average age is lower than the national average and vibrant businesses expanding, Hamilton is alive with promise and opportunity.

 

Check out this rare video of Hamilton in 1956. :)

Posted by Old Hamilton on Sunday, April 19, 2015

Famous Landmarks

Hamilton’s oldest church site St Peter’s Cathedral sits on top of a hill at 51 Victoria Street. Hamiltonians have been worshipping at this site since 1871 although the current cathedral, dedicated in 1961 is the fourth church to be built on the hill.

The first bank building on the corner of Hood & Victoria Street was built in 1878. It still stands today in all its splendor although now houses a popular inner city bar.

Lake House in Lake Crescent was built in 1873. It was designed by Hamilton’s first mayor J.R Vialou who was also a renowned architect.

Chateau Windemere is situated on the Western ridge of Lake Rotoroa. It was the original house of the original Jolly family who were responsible for the subdivision and creation of Frankton.

The Waikato Institute of Technology established in 1920 bordered is by Anglesea, Tristram, Ward and Collingwood Streets sits on top of a hill overlooking the city.

Garden Place, a green resting-place in the heart of the city was carved from a hill in the 1930’s. The retaining wall that holds the original hill in place can be seen on Anglesea Street.

The Old Courthouse on Victoria Street is a splendid old building, which opened its doors in 1931.

In 1912 the Municipal Baths at the south end of Victoria Street opened.

Real Estate & Architecture

Real estate in the Central City and the city fringe has shown dramatic change. Hamiltonians requirement for higher density housing has seen many older houses removed and blocks of walk-up apartments or stand-alone townhouses erected. The northern fringe of the CBD, known as Whitiora, has a wide choice available in a variety of settings.

There are still many homes of the 1920’s and 1930’s period scattered through the central city fringe. Some of these have proved popular as commercial offices while others have been renovated and are enjoyed by those who appreciate the character of the era.

Around Lake Rotoroa there are numbers of character homes on stately sections which overlook the lake.

Shopping

The CBD is host to a wide range of shops that will satisfy the busiest shoppaholic. Centreplace in the centre of the city is a modern indoor mall housing over 80 specialist stores. Across the road the Warehouse caters for the budget conscious. Parking is available in the adjoining car park accessed from Bryce Street or underground parking accessed from Angleasea St or Alexandra St. 

Casabella Lane off Bryce St is rapidly becoming a style strip with boutique fashion shops such as Ruby, Bella Boutique & Bird.

The large format appliance retailers on the Pembroke Tristram Street roundabout are popular for some of their unbeatable deals.

Lodge Real Estate has two offices at the northern end of the CBD. 931 Victoria Street is the office of the company’s commercial real estate operations and of Lodge Country, which caters for farms and the popular lifestyle option. Further north at 11 Ulster Street is the city branch of the company’s residential division.

Nightlife

Hamilton has a fantastic nightlife most of which exists in a precinct to the south of the CBD. From Hood Street to Collingwood Street a dense array of bars, restaurants and cafes populate the sidewalks. Mouthwatering dishes from all corners of the globe can be found. If it’s a party night a wide array of bars cater for the quiet beer to the dance party.

In the centre of the City Sky City Riverside Casino gives you the opportunity to wager a bet & celebrate it in one of its four bars. There’s also a bowling alley for amusement.

Sports & Fitness

The Municipal Baths in Victoria Street are a great place to learn to swim or practise laps. The heated outdoor pool allows for swimming all year round.

On the Western boundary of the city Lake Rotoroa provides a beautiful lakeside promenade, ideal for jogging. Children also enjoy playing at the Lakeside Park. Cricket is played upon Innes Common on the Lake’s western shores. Outdoor hockey is also played on the all weather fields at Innes Common.

Round two of the V8 Supercars is held in Hamilton during April 18 and 19 2009. The Hamilton 400 now becomes an endurance event and will now consist of two 200km races instead of the three shorter sprint races. The 2008 sell-out Hamilton event was a great success in its first year with 172,000 people attending over the three days.

Rugby is played throughout the winter on Waikato Stadium at the northern end of the CDB. You will also find the homes of popular rugby clubs Fraser Tech and Hamilton’s most successful rugby club Hamilton Old Boys..

Seddon Park is a short five minute stroll from the CBD and is home to Northern Districts cricket. The river bank walkway runs right alongside the CBD and provides a picturesque setting for a lunchtime run or powerwalk.

Gym activities are catered for at Les Mills World of Fitness straddling Victoria & Barton Streets. For women only Contours in Tristram Street is a popular option.

The Hamilton Squash & Tennis Club is on Tristram Street. There are six squash courts and ten AstroTurf tennis courts. The resident professional is available for coaching in both codes.

Schools & Education

Situated in park like surroundings in a central city location Hamilton West primary school provides education for year 1 - 8 students. Located in Fow Street the school can also be accessed via Horne Street.

Hamilton Girls’ High School is situated between Tristram Street, Tainui Street, Ruakiwi Road & Hill Street and is set in an attractive environment on well maintained grounds. The school provides education for 1300 year 9 - 13 girls.

Wintec, the Waikato Institute of Technology educates 24,000 full and part time tertiary students. They have three sites throughout Hamilton. The main city site sits on a hill bordered by Anglesea, Ward Collingwood & Tristram Streets. Wintec offers more than 150 programmes and 2500 courses for tertiary students.

Situated at the northern tip of the CBD on Willoughby Street Whitiora Primary caters for year 1 - 8 students.

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