The Christchurch Legacy

Any Cantabrian will tell you that 22 February 2011 is a date etched into their subconscious. Even seven years on, the question of “where were you when the quakes hit” remains up there with “what school did you go to” as the preferred icebreaker for many a social occasion.

While the trauma of the day itself has faded for most, there are others who would freely tell you that the true trauma began once the dust settled and our world became flooded with foreign acronyms, new agencies, blueprints, red zones and a steady stream of insurance battles. Christchurch was dealt a cruel blow by mother nature, but the city has also suffered the slings and arrows of bureaucracy at its finest. There are lessons to be learned, but there are also celebrations to be had. Despite countless hurdles and challenges, a collective of Christchurch stalwarts soon formed; property owners and developers who made the decision to reinvest in the city they loved. A great deal of coverage is given to the anchor projects (or lack thereof), our gradual infrastructure overhaul, and the inefficiencies of systems and processes, but most Cantabrians don’t realise the progress of the city so far has been heavily driven by a handful of people dedicated to crafting a legacy.

For those not familiar with the city, it’s easy to lose track of where progress is at, what’s coming up and what the new projects are. With the eighth year of regeneration ahead of us, we celebrate a small sample of the extensive list of projects that have helped propel the city into a new era and provide a status update for what else the city can look forward to.

Central City

BNZ Centre

Developed by Nick Hunt and opened in late 2016, the $140 million BNZ Centre enticed a large contingent of office workers and shoppers back into the Central City, who have brought with them the energy and vitality the CBD had been missing. With key tenants BNZ operating from the ground floor, the centre has a bounty of laneways and courtyards that weave between retail stores, leaving the upper three levels to house a host of corporate services.

The Crossing

Since opening in December 2017, The Crossing has become the beating heart of the Central City’s retail precinct. Owned by Carter Group, a family business with Philip Carter at the helm, The Crossing is home to 24 high-end stores offering a wide array of choice and has successfully created a Melbourne-style fashion destination that anchors much of the surrounding properties.

ANZ Centre

Easily identified by the towering atrium (complete with a unique white specimen tree), the ANZ Centre is the brainchild of local developer and business owner, Tim Glasson. Built on what was formerly known as the Triangle Centre site, the centre has a vibrant mix of retailers and professional services, including anchor tenants Beca and ANZ Bank who occupy 6,800m2 of the property.


Perhaps more so than any other developer, particularly one for whom development is not their core business, recognition should be given to J Ballantyne & Co, the city’s iconic Central City department store. While many property owners were still scratching their heads over what to do next, Ballantynes acted swiftly, repairing their damaged buildings and developing temporary premises to keep the Central City moving.

At one stage during the process they even offered day-trips to their Timaru store, in a spectacular show of out-of-the-box that ensured their customers could still enjoy the Ballantynes experience. In mid-2017 the store applied for building consent to replace their temporary premise on Lichfield Street over the coming two years. This new building will link with the Council-owned parking building and the soon-to-be-completed Guthrey Centre. Ballantynes chief executive, Maria O'Halloran, told The Press that the rebuild would have a "strong European influence, combining Ballantynes charm with modern touches to wow customers".

Hagley Oval

At a time when progress seemed particularly slow, the redevelopment of Hagley Oval from a local cricket club to a venue capable of hosting international test matches for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup can now be looked back on as a momentous achievement. It’s easy to forget how much opposition it faced, and we are fortunate that this initiative was supported, resulting in a community-focused venue that has quickly become a Christchurch icon.

151 Cambridge Terrace

Often referred to as ‘the Deloitte building’ in reference to its anchor tenant, 151 Cambridge Terrace was a true legacy of love by developer, Stephen Collins. Opened in 2015, the building has quickly become a landmark with its unique façade and iconic corner site. From the outside, it is easy to think that this is just another pretty face in the rebuild, but the true beauty of this building lies in it’s strength, with base isolation giving remarkable flexibility

Pita Te Hori Centre/King Edward Barracks

Photo credit: Sarah Rowlands

Located on the corner of Cambridge Terrace, Hereford Street and Cashel Street and opened in early 2017, Stage One of this $85 million development included two office buildings and a multi-storey car park, which set new benchmarks for post-earthquake commercial buildings. The property incorporates the latest technology and quality design, including base isolation, buckling restrained bracing system and high performance, energy efficient HVAC systems. Tenants include EY, Aurecon, Vero, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, with occupants also enjoying Ngā Māra a Te Wera (The Gardens of Te Wera), a shared space designed to soften the built environment.

Stage Two of the development intends on bringing high-end apartments to the Montreal Street boundary of the site.

The Awly Building

This five-storey, mixed-use development, located at 287-293 Durham Street, was designed by Warren and Mahoney and achieved the city’s first post-quake five green star design rating by the New Zealand Green Building Council and opened in 2016. With 17,000 square metres of floorspace and occupying a half-hectare site, the $67 million office building is home to anchor tenant Meridian as well as a gym, bakery, convenience store and hospitality outlets.

PwC Centre

Photo credit: Sarah Rowlands

Completed in December 2016 and sold for $47 million in June 2017, the PwC Centre sits on a 2738 square metre site on the corner of Cashel Street and Cambridge Terrace. The building was constructed to 130 per cent of the New Zealand Building Standard and offers 7,917 of office space with anchor tenant PwC further complemented by Chapman Tripp, Air New Zealand, Crombie Lockwood, Tonkin and Taylor and Olsson Fire & Risk.

Innovation Precinct

Situated between the CBD and the fringe of the East Frame (or One Central as it is now referred to), the Innovation Precinct was developed by Studio D4 and includes the five-green star rated Vodafone Innov8 building, the Kathmandu building, a multi-storey car park, hospitality precinct, and office space. Incorporating a swathe of new technology and integrating exquisite form with superior function, the precinct elevates Christchurch as a city that fosters emerging talent and entrepreneurial pursuits.

The Terrace

He may be synonymous with bright suits and remarkable footwear, but there is little doubt that Antony Gough is a man of extraordinary courage and vision. As one of the first to signal his commitment to the Central City post-quakes, Antony has championed Christchurch at every opportunity, even when his passion project, The Terrace, wasn’t going as originally planned. Featuring a swathe of premium restaurant and bar offerings, The Terrace is unique in style, purposely designed to look like individual buildings, each with its own character. With the doors on this $140 million riverfront development opening as I type, what was once one man’s dream is finally being brought to life, and Christchurch will be the better for it.

The Terrace will be further complemented by the completion of the $50 million Hoyts cinema on the corner of Colombo and Lichfield Streets, which is also due to open this year.

Beyond the CBD

The Tannery

If you had asked me 10 years ago if I’d like to go and spend a day shopping in Woolston, I would have questioned your sanity. But the arrival of The Tannery, a labour of love by developer Alisdair Cassels, meant Woolston was reborn as a place of history coupled with high-end retail. Reminiscent of Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building, the Tannery is the perfect combination of stylish specialist stores, retro fun and hipster chic.

Victoria Street

Post-earthquakes, Victoria Street quickly became the ‘new Strip’, with several hospitality outlets popping up to create a hub of nightlife options to cater for a city crying out for a little fun. As the city has slowly come back to life, Victoria Street has upped its game, Countrywide Group’s Richard Diver opening their seventh project on Victoria Street at number 123 in April 2017. Nearby, a $35 million hotel and office complex with 300 square metres of retail and hospitality on the corner of Victoria, Sailsbury and Montreal Streets should add further foot traffic to the area in November this year.

Christchurch International Airport

It may seem a strange property to recognise, as we generally see an airport as having function over form, but the Christchurch International Airport (CIAL) has undergone huge advances and had a sizable facelift since the 2011 quakes, with projections that over 11 million passengers will pass through the terminal in the year 2040. Grand plans are underway, as revealed in CIAL's Masterplan, released in October 2017, including the extension of Memorial Avenue, improvements to the terminal and expansion of several runways. As the gateway to the city, and the South Island, CIAL is to be commended for keeping Christchurch on the map, even doing their part to champion the city with the Christchurch Story campaign.

On the Horizon

Turanga/The Central Library

Developer: Christchurch City Council
Due for completion: Mid 2018

What will be the largest library in the South Island, this $92 million development is by no means merely a home for books. Situated on the corner of Colombo and Gloucester Streets, the five-story building will feature up to 100 computers, an innovation zone for trialling new technology, 3D and laser printers, music, film and video editing studios, a 200-seat community arena, a children’s play zone, a café, a reading room and an outdoor roof terrace.

The Riverside Market

Developer: Peebles Group
Due for completion: November 2018

Sitting on the current RE:Start Mall site, the European-inspired Riverside Farmers Market will be an impressive five-building complex, encompassing fresh food markets, boutique hospitality and retail tenants. Work commences this month, with the $80 million complex scheduled for completion by November this year.
Developer Richard Peebles believes the Riverside Farmers Market will offer a point of difference to supermarket chains and suburban malls, saying “the focus will be on fresh, local produce. Customers will be able to buy directly from the farmer, so they’ll known exactly what had gone into their food and where it has come from.”

With many tenants who currently resided in the RE:Start Mall already taking up leases, the hope is that the market has a similar vibrant, community focus. The project is a new initiative for Christchurch and will top off Peebles’ 30-odd developments in the CBD, including the McKenzie and Willis redevelopment and adjoining buildings on High Street.

The Riverside Market will be further enhanced by the $20 million-plus Guthrey Centre, which will sit between it and The Terrace. Due for completion in June 2018, the centre will feature 14 stores across four two-storey buildings on Oxford Terrace.

Christchurch Convention Centre

Developer: Ōtākaro Ltd
Due for completion: December 2020

A shining beacon of hope in the midst of otherwise empty lots, the Christchurch Convention Centre is slowly taking shape, with foundations on the $475 million project poured in November 2017. In December it was announced that a five-star hotel will sit on the corner of Colombo Street and Cathedral Square, providing a vital accommodation link to the centre. The Convention Centre is due to be completed in 2020, providing welcome assurance for other planned hotel developments such as the Sudima Hotel on the corner of Victoria and Sailsbury Streets, a planned hotel on the former The Press site in Cathedral Square and a six-star hotel on the Harley building site on Cambridge Terrace.

Metro Sports Facility and Multi-Use Arena

An artist's impression of the proposed Multi Use Arena

Developer: Ōtākaro Ltd
Due for completion: Decision pending April 2018

With a new government taking the reins and Dr Megan Woods now in place as Christchurch Regeneration Minister, there is high expectation in the city that this change will bring with it further certainty. Minister Woods has pledged to ensure all loose ends are dealt with by the end of the year, with the government’s first major decision due in April, when they will announce the fate of the planned Multi-Sports Facility and Multi-Use Arena.

The East Frame/One Central

Developer: Ōtākaro Ltd
Due for completion: 2025

In August 2016 Property Council’s South Island Branch held an event with contractor Fletcher Living on the planned East Frame (now known as One Central), where they outlined the original due date for the first four “super lots” or precincts to be completed by the end of 2017, with the subsequent lots to follow over a period of ten years finishing in 2025. It would seem these timeframes have moved, with the Ōtākaro website now stating that the first residential area (20 homes on the corner of Madras and Hereford Streets) is to be completed around September 2018.

Author | Kelly Taylor

Kelly is the newly-minted Member Communications Manager at Property Council New Zealand, with a previous incarnation as the South Island Branch Manager. She is passionate about delivering value to our members and ensuring their voices are heard.
Get in touch here.


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