Blue areas show the buildings bought by Cephas Property over the past few months.

Investor buys land for CBD retail complex


The local investor behind developing the Richmond Mall has bought up a large block of Nelson’s CBD with plans to create a shopping precinct and help “revitalise” the city centre.

Steve Baigent has acquired 31-55 Bridge Street and further property at 126 Trafalgar Street, through his company Cephas Property.

Cephas Property is a Nelson family-owned business along with associated company Tinline Property, which is also behind the development of Richmond Mall.

Steve says the move was an “exciting opportunity to contribute to the revitalisation the centre of Nelson” and that he has wanted to do a development in central Nelson for “many years”.

“I am proposing a high quality, unique urban development with a range of options from boutique shops to larger retailers, and lunchtime and evening dining.”

“It will lift Nelson’s retail game. We will be looking to attract new retailers into town.”

The announcement comes after the Nelson Weekly’s series “spotlight on the CBD,” which looked at the reasons why the CBD was struggling and potential opportunities to ensure that it thrived.

Steve says the development would strengthen the CBD overall, potentially attracting more shoppers and urban residential developers.

“I have wanted to acquire enough land to develop a major project in Nelson for many years. It is not often this kind of opportunity comes along.”

The properties were all bought in recent months, he says. “Recent market conditions have made the acquisition of these properties possible. Cephas Property already owned 50 per cent of the Trafalgar St property. The remainder have been acquired in the last few months.”

He says the development is likely to be enclosed but with “plenty of glass” to provide an open airy feel.

He says Cephas Property is in very early discussions about the project with Nelson City Council, and is investigating options for the purchase of part of the car park directly behind 31-55 Bridge Street in Wakatu Square car park to form part of the precinct.