The gradual recovery of Christchurch’s city centre

There have been a number of recent reports about positive actions in the recovery of Christchurch’s earthquake damaged city centre. Most recently is news today that Forsyth Barr House, Christchurch’s tallest office tower, may be converted into a hotel.

The earthquake-damaged 19 story building, located on the corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets in the central city, is under a conditional offer from a buyer who would seek to convert it to a hotel. This sale is subject to obtaining the relevant council consents.

Marketing agents Colliers said that there is considerable interest in this building with potential buyers seeing better value in acquiring existing structures, rather than undertaking new builds due to ‘out of control’ construction prices.

Despite this, The Press recently reported that the construction of office buildings is dominating construction in the city, with office buildings making up a third of new projects. Statistics New Zealand has found that non-residential construction in Canterbury was up 16 per cent in the last quarter compared to the previous three months.

Colliers’ representative noted that the recent announcements of plans for the Triangle Centre, Vodafone building, and Performing Arts precinct in Christchurch have boosted confidence in the future of the city, and it appears we are seeing evidence of this as Christchurch’s central city slowly comes back to life.

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