Concentrating commercial activity in Christchurch

The impact of red-zone cordons and poor access to the central city has seen a number of Christchurch businesses move out into the suburbs. As businesses have set up base over the past few years this has caused a problem for landlords in the CBD, as well as those in residential areas.

The established business presence in residential areas and the relatively cheaper rent are meaning that landlords in the CBD are having difficulty filling newly constructed, or newly repaired commercial buildings. This is causing concerns for those in charge of the rebuild who believe that any rebuild needs to have the CBD as a key focus point for commercial activity.

A result of this sprawled commercial development is the latest proposal from the Christchurch City Council to clamp down on commercial growth in the suburbs, and try to concentrate future development around the CBD.

Peter Townsend, chief executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce sees the potential in the plan provided it does not prevent business hubs developing around certain areas of the city. Townsend views the recent establishment of a business hub near the airport as a positive move and he would hope the proposed changes would not affect beneficial developments such as this.

The proposed regulation above is a good illustration of what occurs when natural market forces of supply and demand do not align with planners expectations and predictions. This is just one of the many areas which regulators in Christchurch are trying to deal with. The business concentration plan is currently open for public feedback.

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