The hyperspace tractor beam was originally developed as a primitive form of hyperdrive. It was engineered as an advancement to standard hyperdrives in use at the time, which required extraordinary amounts of physical space and power in order to function, and were too large to fit on smaller ships. With the development of the hyperspace tractor beam, these smaller ships were able to be moved through hyperspace, albeit not under their own power.
The Celestials soon realized that such a device had great potential on a larger scale, and that the size of the beam emitters could be enlarged enough to move bigger and bigger objects through hyperspace. Centerpoint Station was thereby constructed as an enormous hyperspace tractor beam large enough to move entire planets and stars. It was the only known example of such a station, and used so much power that the Celestials had to move planets into orbit around it to provide power. The hyperspace tractor beam may have been the basis for later Hypergates.