Not all heroes wear capes, some reinvest in a broken city. In Christchurch’s case, it’s a handful of locals who have led the city’s rebuild.
The connection between people and property can seem obvious; property touches every part of our everyday lives. It is a home for business, a playground for shoppers and long-lunchers, for gathering and connecting, and even a space where we choose to raise our families. But further to this is the connection that many forget; the link between the people who create these spaces, who design and develop buildings, structures and sometimes even cities for people to live, work, play and shop. Property shapes cities, creating communities and building legacies.
Today, we’d like to recognise just a handful of those city shapers, who kickstarted the regeneration of Christchurch.
Richard Peebles, Mike Percasky & Kris Ingles
SALT District & Riverside Market
Post Blueprint, when it became clear that overseas investors were unlikely to swoop to Christchurch’s rescue and put their funds into local projects at a time of great risk, it was investors such as Peebles, Percasky and Ingles who stepped up with both the funding and the ideas.
The men behind the SALT District, including the ever-popular Little High Eatery development, and the visionary Riverside Market, this trio have proved their mettle, delivering several high quality, community-focused developments for the city to be proud of.
One such project is Little High Eatery, which opened in 2017, marking one of the first major hospitality ventures in the city and also the dawn of a new era in boutique, food-hall concepts. While it was no doubt a nervous time, the venture proved enormously popular, revitalising a previously barren part of the central city and paving the way for their larger, even more ambitious project, the Riverside Market.
Winner of the Retail Property category at the 2020 Property Industry Awards, the Riverside Market is more than a retail centre, it is a place for the community to gather, connecting the adjacent streets and creating a bustling, village-like vibe that feels homely and welcoming.
A roaring success by all accounts, the property has reactivated and energised the central city. Since opening in October 2019, foot-traffic in the central city has improved by over 30%, with neighbouring retailers saying their turnover is up 20% or more. The project has successfully attracted more people to the city, giving them another reason to stay, shop, dine or simply wander.
True pioneers, the Peebles, Percasky, Ingles partnership have been instrumental in reshaping the central city and rebranding Christchurch as a place people want to be.