WORDS Victoria Tait
Taking a positive look at what progress is happening in our city centre.
The city centre gets its fair share of bad press due to what feels like a snail’s pace of construction. It is easy to feel disappointed and miss the development and ingenuity that is shaping our city centre. The reality is the engineering innovations are so complex that a lot is happening behind the scenes. The purpose of this column each month is to shine a light on an area of Christchurch and look at what we are achieving and how great our city will become.
Over the next few years, the Christchurch Town Hall in Kilmore Street is being brought back to life. Restoration is underway, with the initial strengthening of the structure by way of ‘jet grouting’. This process will see 1000 large concrete piles injected eight metres into the ground using machines specifically imported from Germany. With $127.5 million in the budget, the Town Hall is set to stand again in glory come 2018.
The ANZ Centre
Previously the site of the Triangle Centre, the new ANZ Centre is a sophisticated three-level structure diagonally opposite Ballantynes. The ground-level area is available for shopping and hospitality, while commercial offices occupy the three large upper floors. The most striking feature is an atrium with a cascading glass roof. Tenants include ANZ, Beca and – in a new concept store – Hallensteins and Glassons. The ANZ Centre is due for completion by the end of February 2017, with an early opening of the retail tenancies for Christmas trading 2016.
The Convention Centre
One of our most exciting projects in the city centre, the Convention Centre Precinct will lift the look of Christchurch. Linking the Square, new Central Library, and the Performing Arts and Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River precincts, the centre itself will provide world-class meeting and convention spaces, supported by a mix of hospitality, retail, office, parking and accommodation spaces. The leading international convention centre and hotel operator Accor has been selected as the preferred operator for this new and exciting facility.