Christchurch starting to move

June 3rd, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

The rebuild of ’s CBD is finally starting to happen, city leaders and investors say.

After a rocky few months where parts of the recovery blueprint looked like they were failing, a series of positive announcements are being labelled by some as the turning point of the rebuild.

Vodafone is expected be confirmed today as the anchor tenant of the innovation precinct, and at least two other private sector developments are in the pipeline.

Meanwhile, rumours that British high street chain Topshop could be coming to Christchurch are not being denied.

Earlier this month, Christchurch’s Carter Group announced it would rebuild the Crossing car parking building, providing much-needed certainty for would-be developers in the retail precinct.

The promised multimillion-dollar overhaul of the central city transport network was finally approved by the Christchurch City Council last week, and consultation with affected property owners and businesses would soon start.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said “key commercial arrangements” had been cemented recently and he expected more positive news to land in the coming months.

The first few tenancies tend to be the hardest, as you don’t want to potentially be alone. Once some large tenants have confirmed, it makes it easier for others to do so.

But Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend believed “things are starting to crystallise” in the central city.

Townsend also expected more positive announcements from both the private and public sector soon.

“I think we will find more information coming out of the Christchurch Central Development Unit that will promote investor confidence, and we will be hearing about some private sector developments in the central city too.”

Carter Group chief executive Mary Devine said the city was “at a turning point”, especially after its car-parking agreement with the council.

Carter Group bought the Crossing car park land off the council, and will manage the demolition of the existing building before building a 534-space car parking facility.

Devine said Carter Group was now “running flat out” with final design and planning of its $100 million Crossing development.

Nice to see progress.

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17 Responses to “Christchurch starting to move”

  1. tom hunter (4,852 comments) says:

    And Ikea? I would think a flat-pack furniture store would be just the ticket in the rebuild of Christchurch.

    Or would they be turned down again by the Environment Court – as they were several years ago for the Silvia Park Mall in Mt Wellington, Auckland – for attracting too much traffic?

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  2. MT_Tinman (3,187 comments) says:

    The slowest part of the recovery start is coming from the City Council owned buildings.

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  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    But, but, but, but it’s a crisis, don’t you know? It’s a fucking crisis, I tell you!

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  4. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    “…..Christchurch starting to move…After a rocky few months…”

    Stop trying to be funny David. :cool:

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  5. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    It’s about time. I just checked one of your related posts. It is dated 18 April 2012 and talks about a blueprint for action. That’s over 2 years ago. I understand that nothing happens overnight. But if I had to live in Christchurch, I’m not sure I would be reacting to the news that the CBD rebuild is just starting now with any sort of enthusiasm.

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  6. ross411 (841 comments) says:

    Nick R (477 comments) says:
    June 3rd, 2014 at 11:45 am
    It’s about time. I just checked one of your related posts. It is dated 18 April 2012 and talks about a blueprint for action. That’s over 2 years ago. I understand that nothing happens overnight. But if I had to live in Christchurch, I’m not sure I would be reacting to the news that the CBD rebuild is just starting now with any sort of enthusiasm.

    Looking at the progress, and referring to specific items and actions in the rebuild in a realistic manner, how would you suggest they could have done it differently?

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  7. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    Oh no!!! This is bad news for Labour……Poto Williams has not done her job properly….What is Dazzling Dalziel doing? Ruth Dyson, you are letting Labour down….

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  8. ross411 (841 comments) says:

    And Ikea? I would think a flat-pack furniture store would be just the ticket in the rebuild of Christchurch.

    Or would they be turned down again by the Environment Court – as they were several years ago for the Silvia Park Mall in Mt Wellington, Auckland – for attracting too much traffic?

    Ikea not being in NZ shouldn’t be associated with lack of suitable locations. In my experience, people would be willing to travel a reasonable distance to shop at Ikea. In countries I’ve lived in, they’d go for an excursion to take the long walk through all the departments, and perhaps not even buy anything except for the swedish meatballs and whatever-it-is-called-berry sauce at the end. I’ve bought and been happy with their cheap and comfortable furniture.

    I’d be all for preventing shops like this from being located in CBD areas where traffic is high.

    I’d also love to be able to purchase furniture from Ikea. I think NZ shops have a ridiculous price at times, as seen recently when Fair Go or something looked at the building industry. Or when the last ‘bought online and not paying GST was undermining sales’ whinge-up happened, even though markup is still remarkably high with GST factored out.

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  9. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    I was in Chch for my brother’s wedding a few weeks ago. It’s a different city than the one I left 12 years ago.

    We went to the flash coffee place in Addington for a hangover cure the day after… Addington has become pretty busy and cool.

    I think in 20 years time many people will be saying the Earthquake was one of the best things that could have happened to Chch. May the dead rest in peace, and may their relatives find peace in their hearts as well… but I have to say the quake has cleared a lot of old rubbish out of that town.

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  10. MT_Tinman (3,187 comments) says:

    RRM, you are correct.

    Addington Sydenham, Beckenham and (soon) Phillipstown are significantly improved areas.

    The east of the city will also benefit greatly.

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  11. flash2846 (287 comments) says:

    Hey guys the CBD had to be pulled down before it could be re-built; no small task I assure you all. Note one building might be OK but another close by could put building one at risk. this has been a real problem both for insurers and council.

    There is lots more building in the CBD going on than the media will broadcast for the obvious reasons. There is already a demand shortage which the above announcements may quickly reverse.

    Also central government have had to fight with the council every step of the way to get things done. This would not have been the case under a Labour government I suspect.

    All in all I am suitably impressed with progress given my city suffered a catastrophe seen just once before in New Zealand.

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  12. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    DPF: “Christchurch starting to move”

    Well, that’s news. At least one this site. Christchurch was going so swell, if we had just relied on the articles on this blog. And now we learn it hasn’t moved for 3 years.

    The Christchurch rebuilt is going as pretty much any other government driven and controlled rebuilt of any quake damaged city. Obviously true capitalist solutions weren’t on the table.

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  13. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    now that Bob Parker is out of the loop things are starting to happen…

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  14. lolitasbrother (698 comments) says:

    yes thats right Farrar, Christchurch is moving like a dying dogs, and legs ask Antony Gough , in a private moment, who wonders now , Oh God why did I not leave this dead dog’s breakfast town.
    Just for Farrar and the the other knowledgeable in in the North Island, come down and have a look . bring four wheel drive and Camping gear,

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  15. tom hunter (4,852 comments) says:

    I’d be all for preventing shops like this from being located in CBD areas where traffic is high.

    A fair point but not a good look for the future of CBD’s if that’s the thinking. In any case Mt Wellington ain’t the CBD – nowhere near it in fact. Here’s part of the EC’s decision:

    Ikea stores are an international chain of furniture stores known to have high traffic generating characteristics. Accordingly, they have been specifically excluded from allowable retail activities in this consent.

    How about that. We could not have Ikea because people would like it too much and cause too much traffic – despite Silvia Park being built around the whole idea of traffic with it’s position right beside the Southern Motorway and tons of parking. Brilliant, wouldn’t want too many happy shoppers in Auckland.

    Maybe Ikea will have another crack, this time in Chch; flat as a pancake and lots of room for expansion!!!!

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  16. Sponge (182 comments) says:

    MikeG (373 comments) says:
    June 3rd, 2014 at 3:17 pm
    now that Bob Parker is out of the loop things are starting to happen…

    Utter nonsense. I was not a Parker fan but from where he started on 22/2/11 he did as well, or better, as anyone else could possibly have done.

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  17. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Yes Mike G the mayors expanded executive has swallowed the savings from Giving Marriot the arse.
    The consent fiasco is slowly reaching for parity with the minimalist levels of service seen as barely acceptable elsewhere.
    Getting across the old CBD is only a little slower.
    The containers in Cashel Street are going south one block.
    Carters Goughs and a few others are making small moves to rebuild
    And the poor bastards in Flockton street havnt been flooded for two weeks.

    My access is open where the council controls it, sadly only a bare carriageway approximately 1.8 meters wide almost no metal and dropoffs that would topple any vehicle that moved off.
    Had to contact the city engineers a week ago when Hawkins construction subcontracter laying new water mains down Aylmers valley were completely blocking the road with machinery unable to move.
    No notice to affected residents, no signage and no intention to do anything other than to continue to block the road.
    In response to my suggestion that such road closures un notified and sans signage were illegal the nice engineer said the contract specified one lane to be open at all time. To which I inquired when did you last use Aylmers valley road?
    A long silence ensued then “well I dont think I ever have”!!!.
    When my mirth subsided I explained that since the recent floods calling what remained one lane was a gross exageration of the reality, and having one open at all times defied gravity, reality, and credulity

    That duplitious bloody little socialist Mayor has lit the fuse alright.

    The socialist republic still lives in the village of the damned

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