A review of the latest market trends within Christchurch's commercial and industrial property sectors.
While the Christchurch CBD rebuild has struggled to gain momentum up to now, it appears that 2015 will see a small number of key projects emerge which will form a significant business hub from which future growth can spread.
The initial developments will form a compact business core centred on the Cashel / Colombo Street junction. This area was initially earmarked as a retail precinct, but planned developments now mark it very much as a mixed retail / commercial zone.
The primary projects slated for the area are Philip Carter’s “The Crossing”, the ANZ centre and the BNZ Centre (previously known as Cashel Square). It has also recently been confirmed that a new 8500 square metre office building to be constructed on the corner of Hereford Street and Cambridge Terrace, the site of the former central police station, will be tenanted by staff from the Ministry of Education, Housing New Zealand Corporation and the Ministry of Health.
The building will be a part of a wider development on the city block by Ngai Tahu Property. Upon completion the development will comprise up to four commercial buildings, walkways, carpark building and a row of apartments, and will take up the entire riverside block between Hereford, Cashel and Montreal Streets and Cambridge Terrace.
In addition to the governmental tenancies already announced it has been reported that Accountancy firm EY, formerly Ernst and Young, will lease more than half of a second building. Ngai Tahu hopes to start construction in July and will demolish the disusedpolice building by the end of June. The first office buildings are expected to be finished by early 2017.
The crossing is bounded by Lichfi eld Street, Colombo Street and Cashel Mall. The ANZ centre is to be developed on the adjacent “Triangle site” bounded by Colombo Street, Cashel and High Streets. The BNZ Centre is located between Hereford and Cashel Street.
The four cornerstone projects have been successful in gaining significant tenant pre-commitment. At the ANZ centre, New Zealand’s largest professional services company, Beca, has signed as the largest offi ce tenant, leasing 4,100m2, while ANZ Bank is to take signage and naming rights, along with one floor of office (2,700m2) and ground floor retail space of 400m2.
In addition to the BNZ Bank the BNZ Centre will be occupied by a number of Government departments including, in Stage 1 Statistics New Zealand, NZ Transport Agency and the department of Internal Affairs. Stage 2 will house the Accident Compensation Corporation.
At The Crossing, tenants have not been announced, but are likely to include fashion and food and beverage outlets. Agency reports suggest that leasing interest has been strong. A leading possibility is British-based global fashion retailer Topshop, as developer Philip Carter has taken a shareholding in the company’s New Zealand arm. Office floors will be at either end of the precinct, with hospitality in the middle. The precinct will link to Ballantynes via the existing airbridge to the west, and to The Crossing car park which Carter has bought from the Christchurch City Council to the south.
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