Christchurch CBD developers who have met market demand are already reaping benefits.
It has been challenging but the central city is poised to change dramatically over the next 12 months as more key developments come on stream, according to Hamish Doig, managing director of the Colliers International real estate agency in Christchurch.
“Three years on from February 2011 and the seeds of rebirth are starting to emerge. It has been about mapping a considered path forward that will have long-lasting benefit for us and our children.”
Mr Doig is an ardent supporter of the inner city and Colliers is leasing a string of new buildings including Antony Gough’s office and hospitality riverside development The Terrace; Nick Hunt’s nearby Cashel Square complex opposite Ballantynes; the Triangle Centre redevelopment; and Awly Investments’ impressive building fronting an entire block.
Other significant new leasing projects being handled by Colliers are the proposed office building on the corner of Colombo/Hereford Sts and Cathedral Square over which ASB has taken naming and signage rights and an office complex on the former Bridgewater apartments site on Cashel St by Cambridge Tce.
“While there are some disillusioned developers, there are many more knocking on the door seeking prime opportunities,” Mr Doag says.
He points to competition for bare land over the past two years, which he expects to continue into 2014.
“Over the past 24 months, we have negotiated 70,000sq m of bare land sales in the central city vicinity worth more than $120 million.
“Cashed up developers are quick to act as opportunities become available and we’re expecting more of the same this year, especially as this sort of land becomes increasingly scarce.”
Central city mixed use land in the south has been changing hands for up to $1200 a square metre as demand for smaller space intensifies. Mixed used zone land sales to the north have ranged from $600-2000 a square metre.
“The city is awash with cash because most of our clientele carried debt on their properties that necessitated good insurance cover. Accordingly, many have successfully achieved replacement value in their negotiations and the growth in equity has been huge,” Mr Doag says.
Read: the rest of the Christchurch Three Years On feature stories here