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Vibrant retail area up and running in CBD from Show Week

RE:START 29.10.11

For immediate release

7 April, 2011


Vibrant retail area up and running in CBD from Show Week

The Central City Property Owners and Business Group, Civil Defence and the Christchurch City Council today announced Re:Start 29.10.11 – a project that aims to have existing retail and hospitality buildings, combined with quality relocatable expo structures, open for business from October 29, 2011 in the area bounded by Oxford Terrace/Hereford Street/Colombo Street/Lichfield Street.

Re:Start 29.10.11
Christchurch retail area map
Click for big version

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Brownlee said the initiative was a great sign of cooperation, which he was sure would provide impetus to the huge task of getting the central city operating again.

“This is an important symbolic move that tells the people of Christchurch we’re serious about getting business back on its feet and rebuilding the central city,” Mr Brownlee says.

Mayor Bob Parker says it is critical to re-establish business activity within the central city or the future for the city is bleak.

“From 29 October, residents of Christchurch will once again be able to enjoy shopping and eating in the central city. It is essential we re-open on this date in preparation for New Zealand Cup and Show Week, one of our busiest and most prosperous weeks of the year, and for Christmas trade.”

Civil Defence National Controller John Hamilton says, “getting the CBD open again is a key part of the recovery plan and where possible, we will facilitate local businesses and property owners to reopen for trading.”

Chair of the Central City Property Owners and Business Group, John Suckling said, “we will be installing relocatable expo-style structures for use by retailers and hospitality owners who are not able to re-open in their existing buildings in the inner city.

John Suckling says business and hospitality owners in the city who want to be part of Re:Start 29.10.11 should contact Paul Lonsdale at paul@ccba.co.nz

John Suckling says there is much to be done in the next seven months but there is a strong willingness by everyone to work together for the benefit of the city.

“It is essential we immediately re-establish business activity in the central city around the inner core of the retail/hospitality precinct. This work will centre on Ballantynes and City Mall land owned by members of the group. This is the first step in getting retail and hospitality operations up and running in the CBD. We hope that our initiative will encourage other retailers across the city to look at different options to restart their businesses.”

Ballantynes has already made a commitment to remain in the City Mall, on the location which the company has operated for more than 150 years.

Ballantynes managing director Mary Devine says Re:Start 29.10.11 is a temporary solution to get retailers and the hospitality industry operational again and does not pre-empt any big picture decisions which will guide the future redevelopment of central Christchurch.

“We hope this initiative inspires others to do the same. A healthy city is one with a strong heart.”

In preparation for Re:Start 29.10.11, the Central City Property Owners and Business Group has begun discussions with the Christchurch City Council about parking areas and the possibility of operating shuttles to bring people into the city.

“Also, it is hoped the area bounded by Colombo Street/High Street/Lichfield Street open as soon as possible, however this will depend on the demolition of the Hotel Grand Chancellor."

ENDS

Members of Re:Start 29.10.11

Gerry Willis, Michael Ogilve-Lee, Tim Glasson, Nick Hunt, Peter Guthrey, Paul Dean, Antony Gough, Philip Richards, Philip Carter, Richard Ballantyne, Paul Lonsdale, Ben Gough, Craig Nicholas and John Suckling.

This group owns the majority of the buildings in the identified area and are working with other owners to achieve Re:Start 29.10.11 by making the city safe for shoppers and visitors.


Re:Start 29.10.11 Timeframe:

April 2011 Detailed assessment of existing building in the Re:Start 29.10.11 completed by mid month.

May 2011 Detailed repair and remediation design completed individual buildings.

Investigation complete and design of relocatable expo-style structures finalised.

June 2011 Demolition completed of buildings which can not be repaired and sites cleared of rubble by end of month.

September 2011 Installation of relocatable expo-style structures and fit out

October 2011 Building repairs and remediation completed by 17 October for 29 October public opening


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