Kathmandu joins innovation precinct

TESS MCCLURE
Last updated 16:41 21/08/2014
kathmandu

TOP SPOT: Kathmandu plans to move into its new headquarters in 2016.

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Kiwi retail giant Kathmandu has announced a $20 million new headquarters in the inner-city innovation precinct.

Kathmandu is the second anchor tenant confirmed for the precinct, after Vodafone committed earlier this year.

Kathmandu chief executive Peter Halkett said the innovation precinct was ''a stand-out choice for Kathmandu.''

The company was excited about future prospects for Christchurch, he said.

"We see absolutely no reason why Kathmandu can't take on the world from Christchurch, especially the new online world. Our team are very excited about what Christchurch and the central city will become, we are confident in the future of the city and we want to play our part to ensure it succeeds".

Kathmandu will move in early 2016.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said innovation was ''at the core of Kathmandu's operations,'' and it was a ''very good fit'' for the precinct.

Joyce said the area ''will become a top address for innovative firms located in the city''.

''When you mix in the new ICT graduate school and the CPIT campus just up the road, the precinct will be a hotbed of commercial innovation in the new-look Christchurch CBD," he said.

The $20 million development by Kew Innovation Ltd will include a three-story building on the corner of Tuam and Madras streets, with expansion rights to the adjoining building.

The new office will house over 150 Kathmandu staff and have a five-star environmental rating.

Halkett said Kathmandu had been ''evaluating the options for its Christchurch office over the past year, once it became clear our current suburban premises would require an extended period of construction work and substantial investment to remediate earthquake damage."

Vodafone confirmed in June it would make the shift to the CBD. The company is planning a $50 million, four-story headquarters on Tuam St, which will house 350 Christchurch staff.

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