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Christchurch Landmark Getting An Update

Media release for immediate use – August 20, 2009

Christchurch Landmark Getting An Update

One of Christchurch’s grand old ladies is being transformed into the city’s next top model.

A four-month transformation has just begun of the ground floor lobby and exterior façade of the Clarendon Tower, on the corner of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace.

The former Clarendon Hotel had been a city landmark for more than a century, boasting famous guests including The Beatles and Queen Elizabeth, until the Clarendon Tower office building opened in 1988, retaining the façade of the original hotel The 17-storey fully leased office building is now home to several established and long-term tenants, including many of the city’s prestigious law firms.

Simes has managed Clarendon Tower since 2000 and is co-ordinating the transformation project in association with project managers, Cequent Projects.

Senior Property Manager Mark Youthed says the next four months will see the building take on a more modern feel, while recognising and integrating relevant historical aspects, all under the watchful eye of architect Kerry Mason.

“Kerry is well known for his sympathetic restoration of old buildings. He is very fond of the Clarendon, has worked on it before and is keen to see it restored in a way which keeps its former glory but looks to the future,” he says.

“When the project is completed in December, the ground floor will have a new upmarket hotel-style lobby, which will be an important meeting place for tenants and their clients. The area will also work very well as a function venue, with a new café and modern sound, AV and air conditioning systems. Two new entrances will be created and the redecoration – interior, exterior and feature lighting - will give the building the prominence it deserves. ”

Mr Youthed says the transformation is a significant investment by the building’s long-term owners, a Christchurch-based Japanese family which also owns the George Hotel

Further upgrading work of the tower floors is also planned, in conjunction with the various tenants and will include upgraded air conditioning and lighting systems, as well as updated bathroom facilities. Critical components of this work will be improved comfort for tenants, plus reduced operating and energy costs. Part of the intention of this refurbishment work is to gain a 4-star in-use Green Star rating.

“This is a substantial outlay for the building and the city,” he says. “The building’s owners value its history and want to preserve and enhance it, and give something back to the city. The transformation work is designed to transform the building to make it a feature of the city once more.”


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