Exciting developments ahead for central Christchurch

Property

If you have been keeping up to date with central Christchurch developments, then you may already be aware of Regenerate Christchurch and its plans to develop a regeneration strategy for the central city area.

Regenerate Christchurch was established in 2016 to lead the regeneration of Christchurch. The organisation is made up of seven board members, three of whom are Christchurch City Council members and four of whom are appointed by the Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration. The organisation has a collaborative and interactive approach, welcoming feedback and working with other community members and stakeholders, towards the greater goal of supporting a vibrant and functioning city.

Regenerate Christchurch is currently working with the Christchurch City Council, the Crown, Ngai Tahu and other stakeholders to devise a regeneration strategy for the central city by the end of 2017. The focus areas are between Kilmore Street to the north and Hereford Street to the South and between Cambridge Terrace to the west and Manchester Street to the east as shown in the image below from the Regenerate Christchurch website.

The aim is for the Square and its surrounds to once again become the heart of the city, an international centre with year round activity, day and night, with green spaces and modern buildings.  The organisation has proposed five key moves in order to stimulate investment and deliver a centre that showcases the best of the city:

1. Key move one - reshaping the Square to create more lively public spaces. Buildings should be designed to have infrastructure which is event ready and surrounded by urban landscaping. Ideas include a native garden within the Square and a space that can host up to 10,000 people for events such as fan zones, concerts and exhibitions.

2. Key move two - framing the Square with structures and buildings that can stimulate the arts, creative enterprises, knowledge and education. This area will encompass the Performing Arts Centre, the Town Hall, Convention Centre and central library.

3. Key move three -  improving connectivity to, through and around the area. For the city centre to be accessible, the connecting pathways need to be pedestrian-friendly and functional. This is not limited to the central area and public transport connecting to the centre needs to be considered too (think light rail, electric shuttles, even aerial gondolas – no idea is too small).

4. Key move four - upgrading the streets and lanes between hubs of activities. The foot traffic areas and connecting alleyways will be designed to be safe, interesting and encourage opportunities for further investment. Specific areas of interest include Cashel Mall, Victoria Street, High Street and New Regent Street.

5. Key move five - integrating water and the indigenous ecosystem into the streets and public spaces. So as not to create a concrete jungle, native plants and water features will be integrated into the city’s streets and spaces. The purpose of this is to acknowledge natural history and encourage native birds into the city centre. Ideas include rain gardens for stormwater treatments and naturalised streams.

Amongst this draft concept plan and its practicalities Regenerate Christchurch will also need to consider land use requirements, what incentives and investments will be required, the use of spaces in the short term and how to put the plans into effect with timelines and goals.

Regenerate Christchurch has acknowledged that it cannot work alone, that it needs agreement on visions and how to put the plans into action, including investment and redevelopment, to kick start the redevelopment.

What next? If you are considering investing within central Christchurch but unsure of how the spaces could work for you or your business, now is the time to think creatively and work together. The draft plan encourages adjacent landowners to work together to produce shared plans for their area that contribute to the overall vision. No idea is too small or fantastical.

For those that have already invested in the area, the draft concept plan will not affect any work that is already planned or underway.

Our large and experienced Property Team at Cavell Leitch can assist you with your next move in central Christchurch should you wish to invest or develop.  Please call one of our experts today to discuss further.

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