An office and apartment complex valued at over $150 million will be built to replace Christchurch’s old police headquarters and King Edward barracks in the city’s CBD. With up to four commercial buildings, walkways, a carpark building and a row of apartments, the development will take up the entire riverside block between Hereford, Cashel and Montreal streets and Cambridge Terrace.
The complex will draw thousands into the CBD. 1500 employees will eventually occupy the site, including 350 public servants from the Ministry of Education, Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Health. Accountancy firm EY, formerly Ernst and Young, will lease more than half of a separate building. The details of the size and configuration of the apartment strip have not yet been finalised.
Southern Iwi Ngai Tahu owns the land and will partner with the Crown to develop the complex. At the complex’s unveiling on Tuesday, Ngai Tahu said that it hopes to demolish the disused police building by the end of June and start construction in July. The first office buildings are expected to be finished by early 2017. Master plans have been drawn and construction tenders will soon be called. The project will provide a further boost for Christchurch’s construction sector, with 500 to 600 construction workers expected to be onsite at the peak of development.
The project is exciting news for those involved in the Christchurch rebuild. According to Prime Minister John Key, the complex signifies ” real progress and tangible progress for Cantabrians.”