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Christchurch Three Years On: ASB leads return to Cathedral Square

ASB Bank is one of several banks leading a return to the central city.

It was among the first businesses to move back to the heart of the city, re-opening in a temporary portacom branch in Cashel Mall, as part of the ReStart initiative.

Now it has committed to a proposed building on the former ANZ site in Cathedral Square that should be completed in 2016 and provide a base for 100 ASB staff. It will be called ASB House. 

The property on the corner of Hereford and Colombo Sts is owned by Central City Estates and, when completed, is expected to glean rentals of more than $400 a square metre.

ASB will take the ground floor and a couple of upper floors.

Steve Jurkovich, ASB’s executive general manager corporate, commercial and rural banking, says Christchurch has been a priority for a number of years and the plan to move back reinforces the commitment to building market share. 

“We see business investment as the key to rebuilding the Christchurch community and that means ASB needs to play a major part in creating a successful business environment to generate employment and wealth.” 

Mr Jurkovich says an example of this is the bank’s relationship with developer Alasdair Cassels and support for his project of turning an old tannery building into an emporium-style shopping centre

A colourful developer, Mr Cassels saw the opportunity of a devastated central city to breathe life into his $24 million Tannery redevelopment in the eastern former industrial suburb of Woolston.

He began with establishment of The Brewery bar and restaurant and rebuilt the remainder of the former industrial site. The Tannery now has 60 retail tenants and is proving a popular attraction in a city where many retailers were forced to relocate or close. 

Read: the rest of the Christchurch Three Years On feature stories here