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Church buys Cranmer Court site in Christchurch

8 April 2013

Church buys Cranmer Court site in Christchurch

Majestic Church in Christchurch has bought the high profile Cranmer Court site for $10 million.

Senior minister Leo Hanssen said the church, which has around 800 members, wanted to continue its presence in the inner city. Before the earthquake, Majestic operated out of premises on the corner of Manchester/Lichfield and High Sts.

Hanssen said the unconditional purchase was funded from the church’s insurance payout for its former buildings, which are still awaiting demolition. Its Bedford Row car park has already been demolished. Under the blueprint, the entire site will now form part of the green frame.

“This is a wonderful property for us and really allows us to be part of the Christchurch community. In our previous building, we really enjoyed being in the middle of activity in the city and the Cranmer Court site means we can continue operating in this way.”

Hanssen said the 7183sq m property meant Majestic could realise its vision of a community-based facility.

“We used to be part of the High St precinct. This purchase means we can be part of the Victoria St precinct. Our vision is to build something that a lot of groups will be able to use – we don’t just want a building for church on Sunday.”

Majestic Church was established in Christchurch in 1962, last year celebrating its 50th anniversary. It was housed in Manchester St from 1978 until February 2011, and is currentlyleasing premises in Moorhouse Ave.

Detailed planning for the new property would soon begin, with Hanssen hopeful Majestic Church will open its doors in 2016.

Broker Paul Marshall, of Colliers International, said Majestic had been looking at various other proposals but was attracted by the unique inner city location and the large size of the site.

Hamish Doig, managing director of Colliers International, said there were a number of tenders for the CranmerCourt property.

“The keen competition for this highlights the demand we’re experiencing for quality inner city land. We’re quickly realising that you can’t predict who will be the eventual purchaser because so many orgnaisations have been displaced and demand is coming from a variety of sources which dictates the need for a well-thought, comprehensive marketing campaign.”

The landmark Cranmer Court site was put up for sale by the 31 owners who make up the body corporate. The historic Gothic style building was demolished last year, after vigorous attempts to save it proved unfeasible.

David Chambers, chairman of the body corporate, said that the sale would help owners to pick up their lives and start afresh.


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