The importance of getting people living in the central city again is coming to the fore as the anchor projects take shape and a steady stream of new private developments continue to open their doors.
Fletcher Living is now selling homes in the One Central development, with construction of the first 20 opposite Latimer Square set to be completed in the next few months. Across the stretch of the land between Manchester and Madras Streets, work on 172 terrace homes and apartments is currently underway.
We also want to talk to developers about some other sites around the central city that lend themselves to a residential development. From 1000m2 sites in the South Frame and Avon River Precinct to 8000m2 on Madras Street, Ōtākaro has been charged with divesting a range of sites to parties that can deliver developments people want to call home.
It’s the right time for further residential development with the likes of the major revamp of Manchester Street finishing this month. Now a tree-lined boulevard with large shared footpath and cycleway flanking the Rauora Park, the area is people-friendly like never before.
A little further out the final South Frame gathering space, Kahikatea Common will be open in October. These spaces allow hospitality and retail ventures to spill out onto the laneways, bringing life to the streets.
We’re reaching the point where all the pavers and plants are nearly in place, ready for residents to come and enjoy them.
The ‘as is where is’ commercial property market still has a surprising amount of steam left in it.
We’re picking that there will continue to be plenty of activity through into 2019 as insurers work to settle problematic outstanding claims.
A prime example of this is the up market high-rise apartment block at 66 Oxford Terrace, that recently came to the market following the body corporate’s insurance settlement. Due to be auctioned shortly, we think this is the most significant body corporate, in terms of scale, to be offered for sale ‘as is where is.’
In the past 18 months, I’ve negotiated more than $65 million of ‘as is’ sales, including a number of body corporates. These properties are always so keenly sought. For instance, earlier this year a complex of 11 as is where is townhouses in Phillipstown attracted 15 or so bidders. It was bought by one of the under-bidders for another similar complex he missed out on a few weeks earlier.
There continues to be a lot of unsatisfied demand from people with the ability to repair and/or seeking cashflow.
But the body corporate market is not without its difficulties and it’s important that owners agree their parameters before going to market. It’s key that everyone is on the same page.
There can be no doubt that the rest of New Zealand has learnt much from the experiences of communities in the South Island during the past seven years.
Until now, this has largely been related to seismic activity. But a significant climate change-related project in the Southshore and South New Brighton area is also likely to attract national interest.
The potential impact of climate change is a significant concern for coastal communities and it is important they have the opportunity to contribute to and influence their community’s response.
That is why we are utilising local expertise, knowledge and networks to develop a regeneration strategy for Southshore and South New Brighton that will identify and evaluate short, medium and long-term options for adapting to the effects of climate change, and consider the future use of red zone land in the area.
Our engagement with the Southshore and South New Brighton communities – in partnership with the Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury and Ngāi Tahu – is based on a plan developed by community members and agency staff. It prioritises face-to-face communication, which is why we have opened a community engagement hub at 82 Estuary Road where people can find out what’s going on and how they can be involved.
The climate change element of the regeneration strategy work is particularly complex and the conversation about possible options for adaptation will have implications beyond these areas. Coastal communities around the country will be watching with interest.
The 2018 Canterbury Architecture Awards were held recently, as part of the peer-reviewed New Zealand Architecture Awards programme run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.
Sponsored by Resene, they set the benchmark for the country’s buildings and recognise the contribution of architects to their towns and communities.
With my great team of jurors, architects Mary Daish, Michael O’Sullivan, Duval O’Neill, and Charlie Nott, we awarded 34 outstanding projects this year. The greatest number were for housing – Canterbury’s legacy of fine residential stock is in safe hands, with some architects producing excellent work challenging the typology of the large house. We also awarded inspiring buildings in categories including public architecture, urban design and education.
We celebrated the contribution architecture makes to the cityscape; the urban fabric, and the quality of the spaces around it. Architects and clients incorporated works and ideas from artists, and groups such as Matapopare and the Urban Design Panel, enhancing the richness of projects. We enjoyed architecture incorporating a cultural narrative, and contributing to the changing identity of Ōtāutahi/Christchurch. Many of these buildings will be treasured as future heritage.
Good architecture is first and foremost about people and we met passionate clients, so generous in opening up their homes and buildings to us and sharing their enthusiasm and stories. We met tenacious community groups, whose projects now sit proudly at the hearts of their communities.
It was a joy to see buildings awash in beauty, meaning and generosity; architecture so good that it takes your breath away.
It is exciting to see some real momentum growing behind a number of anchor projects around Christchurch.
Since becoming Minister, I have made it a priority to ensure that we can deliver faster progress and outstanding facilities for the people of Canterbury. In August, groundworks for the Metro Sport Facility will finally get underway.
This substantial piece of work on over 30,000m2 of ground will take around eight months to complete, with the installation of more than 7000 in-ground stone columns. By the end of this, we will see the ground work finished and ready for the main construction works to begin in March or April 2019.
Having inherited a project that was already behind schedule with a significant cost blow-out of over $75 million, it’s fantastic to see that we are moving quickly along to see real physical changes at the site.
I’m looking forward to seeing the work get into full swing and ramp up as we move towards an expected completion date in 2021. We’ve been able to utilise the space well in the meantime by providing Christchurch Hospital staff with an extra 170 parking places, ensuring the safety of staff while a more permanent solution is developed. I’m delighted to see the Metro Sports Facility moving ahead after so many years of delays.
There’s been a lot of comment on business confidence, which hit a seven-year low last month.
While it’s easy to dismiss confidence as just sentiment, fact is it does have an impact on economic growth through the investment and employment decisions businesses make.
We can debate the various drivers of the numbers, but the biggest factor in my opinion is uncertainty; businesses need certainty to invest. Right now, they don’t have that certainty.
Whether it is around immigration changes and the impact this has on finding skilled workers, proposed changes to employment legislation, or the changing nature of overseas investment and ownership rules impacting our reputation as an investment destination, the signals from policy-makers are unclear.
Coupled with the decision around the oil and gas sector and we begin to see a picture that results in lack of confidence. There is a real risk to the pipeline of projects coming to market across many sectors, including commercial and residential building and the much-needed infrastructure investment to support our growing population and tourism numbers.
This takes a toll on businesses which require stability and certainty. While businesses understand the need for change and are incredibly resilient and adaptable, sound policy that enables and supports business growth, is essential.
Everyone supports the Government’s goal of developing a nimble, productive, high-growth economy. But we need a clearly defined strategy and sound policy to create the certainty and stability to enable the innovation, growth and investment we need to create a stronger New Zealand.
One of the priorities for me as the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration is ensuring that we are well placed to learn from the Canterbury Earthquakes sequence going ahead. We know that there are valuable lessons to be learned from such an unprecedented event that will enable us to make sure our communities are more resilient and prepared in the future.
It was a great pleasure to announce recently that there will be a two-day symposium held in November this year in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council. This symposium will also provide a platform to lead into a bigger international event that will mark the quake’s tenth anniversary in 2021.
We anticipate the involvement of up to 250 participants from across the public and private sectors, representing those who have been involved in the local recovery, as well as those that may be impacted by future events. Crucially, the symposium and workshops will also give communities the chance to share their wisdom and experiences as those at the coalface of the recovery.
Given New Zealand’s complex geography, we know that it’s merely a question of when and not if another community faces the same challenges. Our communities need to know that the disaster and recovery systems are effective and robust.
The symposium will provide a unique opportunity for community leaders, recovery practitioners and academics to learn from what’s happened in the past and to make sure we get it right in the future.
Prior to the devastating earthquake events of 2010/2011, the public generally didn’t know a geotechnical engineer from a civil engineer; with much of an engineer’s work often being hidden.
Indeed, if it works and continues to do so, then an engineer’s work is often buried in the ground, or hidden behind building finishes, quietly doing its job.
High demand saw increased competition with many firms coming into Canterbury, only to now be leaving as we begin the ongoing trend back to pre-earthquake construction levels. Which begs the question, where will the providers of this advice be when future questions are raised on post-earthquake designs and earthquake repairs?
With so much achieved during the rebuild and so much still to be done, it’s important for clients to understand that seeking enduring, quality advice should always be balanced against the cost of acquiring it. Cost effective solutions are rarely the cheapest option.
Engaging a well-established expert as your trusted advisor brings with it long term benefits that endure long after the bill for the alternative cheaper design would have been paid. A trusted advisor will seek to help the client find an enduring long-term solution with practical options, easily discussed because of your ongoing working relationship based on trust and good communication.
Canterbury and beyond remains an active seismic area and earthquakes are a way of life for New Zealanders. Get the best advice by making sure your consultant is an expert and is willing to put the time in to become your trusted advisor.
After five weeks, our Red Zone Futures exhibition has ended and we are now assessing the feedback provided by everyone who visited the Cashel Mall site, engaged with our travelling exhibition and commented via the online exhibition.
This information, as well as the findings of qualitative research carried out during the exhibition period, will inform our development of the draft Regeneration Plan for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor.
As the exhibition entered its final weeks, another of our projects reached a significant milestone. The release of our vision for Cathedral Square followed 18 months of design work, technical reports and engagement with Cathedral Square property owners, business groups, heritage groups, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, the public and other key stakeholders.
We have appreciated the significant interest in our thinking for the square. But it’s not just about new things. To be regenerated, the square must return to its original purpose as a gathering place for local people and visitors. It needs to be a strong symbol of the vibrant future of the city centre.
The vision, which will be delivered in stages as funding and other developments allow, is aspirational in terms of design. But we believe the social regeneration of the square is achievable sooner rather than later and should be prioritised by tidying the place up and making it a place for the people again.
With that in mind, we will work with the city council on the development of a delivery strategy to support the private and public investment being made in the area.
Irecently had the pleasure of attending a presentation from four millennials talking about social enterprises here in Christchurch. The future leaders were excited to share their findings with the baby boomers and gen Xers. After all, in their minds, social enterprise is a relatively new concept, largely driven by their generation.
Those of us with laughter lines and natural ‘highlights’ in our hair openly questioned if it was a new concept, or just the re-labeling of an existing model?
Currently there is no nationally agreed legal definition of what a social enterprise is. The Akina Foundation, the Government-funded entity charged with growing social enterprise, defines them as purpose-driven originations that trade to deliver social and environmental impact. Akina also references that they use commercial methods to be financially self-sustained.
Based on that definition, I’m sure we could all draft a list, including many larger long-established charities, that have developed commercial products to underwrite the social or environmental services they deliver.
Christchurch has been informally recognised as a hotspot for social enterprise since the 2010/11 earthquakes. Last year we hosted the Social Enterprise World Forum because of this.
I have certainly seen an increase in entities popping up that want to make a difference, largely driven by impressive younger talent. However, our own Kilmarnock Enterprises was established in 1958.
I don’t believe social enterprise is a new concept. What we call it is largely immaterial; what is important is the amazing work they do and what can be achieved by taking this approach.
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