Health precinct takes shape, more tenants sought
A riverside walking boulevard along the first block of Oxford Tce will be enjoyed by hundreds of health researchers in new buildings.
Among the first buildings is a new five-level outpatients building under construction on St Andrew's triangle, opposite Christchurch Hospital.
When completed in 2018 it will be complemented by the seven-level $70m Health Research Education Facility (HREF) being built by NewUrbanGroup near the beginning of Oxford Tce.
About 85 per cent of the HREF space is leased, with one floor still vacant, although tenants Canterbury District Health Board, Ara Institute of Canterbury, and University of Canterbury have options to take more space.
A health precinct advisory council chaired by Ian Town has been set up to oversee development of the precinct, Te Papa Hauora.
Town said the precinct would be a hub for health education, research and innovation.
"All the health and education heavyweights are driving this - Canterbury and Otago universities, Ara Institute, and Canterbury District Health Board."
Activities would include work on clinical trials, health information technology, research, access to clinical simulation training.
He said there is potential for other developments on properties owned by Otago Medical School, and a site on the corner of Montreal and Oxford Tce owned by CERA successor Otakaro (the former Oxford Clinic site) which is seeking tenants.
Developer Richard Diver had a contract to develop the ex-Oxford Clinic site but declined to proceed before he had committed tenants, and the contract was cancelled.
He said many health service providers had already moved to other locations on the opposite side of town around Kilmore St.
Diver was responsible for extending and refurbishing the first tenanted building in the health precinct - at 32 Oxford Tce, leased mainly to the CDHB with one vacant floor.
The sale of the building has just gone unconditional to a property syndication company, Silverfin Capital.
One of Silverfin's directors is CDHB chairman Murray Cleverley, who took up the position in May, while Silverfin's principal Cheryl Macaulay is a member of the CDHB facilities committee, appointed in late last year, to oversee management of the building.
The lease to the CDHB was negotiated in December 2014.