Once home to the ANZ Bank, one of the last and most prominent remaining pieces of CBD bare land in Christchurch is set to change hands for the second time post-earthquake.
The 1371sq m site, on the corner of Hereford and Colombo Streets, and Cathedral Square, will go under the hammer on November 26, marketed by Courtney and Nick Doig of Colliers International.
Aotea Gifts bought the land at 9 Cathedral Square in mid 2017 at a keenly contested auction. The national tourist retailer was planning to build a retail and tourism facility, lured by its proximity to Christchurch Cathedral and Te Pae Convention Centre and the surrounding accommodation precinct.
Courtney Doig says the site lends itself to a variety of uses including as a hotel, commercial office, retail, hospitality/entertainment or mixed-use development including residential.
“This strategic site enjoys the benefit of being directly opposite the nearly completed world-class venue Te Pae, which offers numerous event spaces and will attract an abundance of local, national and international events in due course. When Te Pae opens next year foot traffic will greatly increase.
“The recent release of design plans for Christchurch Cathedral is also giving far more certainty to the area. With a finish date of early 2028, the Square will take on a whole new vibrancy.”
The recently completed Spark House, designed by Sheppard & Rout Architects, sits directly opposite the site being offered for sale and Tūranga Christchurch Library is close by.
Resource consent and building consent is in place for a statement retail and hospitality building, that has already been designed, called ‘Braided Rivers’ after the braided patterns of the Waimakiriri River.
The design is by award-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, along with local architects Warren and Mahoney. Ban also designed Christ Church Cathedral's Transitional Cardboard Cathedral on Hereford St.
Braided Rivers utilises a glued laminated timber, or glulam, which is created by bonding layers of lumber together with high-grade adhesives. The result is an engineered wood product that is stronger, lighter, cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than steel.
Doig says full working drawings are available by negotiation if the prospective purchaser is interested.
As part of the Resource Consent, approval has been granted for the canopy to extend 7m from the Northern facade into the Square. A licence is also available with Christchurch City Council for a 3m wide strip across the northern facade for external dining below the canopy.
Nick Doig says there is diminishing retail and office space available in the CBD, with occupancy the strongest it has been since the earthquakes.
“In the CBD retail sector, occupancy has improved significantly over the past 12 months and we’re noting that people are enjoying returning to the central city to experience a different type of shopping.”Office vacancy levels are now back to pre-earthquake, and the third lowest since reporting began in 1993.