Investors show appetite for Christchurch plan
Developers and property investors from outside Christchurch are sizing up opportunities flowing from the CBD blueprint, but it is too early to tell the level of investment that will flow in to help repair the crunched city.
The Government on Monday launched Invest Christchurch to encourage the private sector to contribute to the estimated $30 billion earthquake rebuild cost to the damaged region.
The Invest Christchurch team including investment manager James Hay and manager Sheila McBreen-Kerr and others have undertaken a roadshow this week talking to Christchurch property owners and investors and then those from Auckland and Wellington.
McBreen-Kerr said there had been a lot of interest from both property owners and investors inside the quake-hit city and from investors at presentations in Auckland and Wellington.
An international investment marketing campaign would start in the fourth quarter, but phone calls for more information were already being taken by the team, she said.
McBreen-Kerr said Invest Christchurch had spoken to hundreds of people in presentations or responses to questions.
"The response has been overwhelmingly supportive and praising of the plan. Then what we're seeing after that is that people are often wanting to get more of the [available] information, so people are quite inspired by how far the plan's gone and how comprehensive it is . . . Then they're really looking for the detail and wanting more information."
Most of the response had been from Christchurch property owners, but also from developers, some from overseas, wanting to be part of the anchor infrastructure projects including the stadium and convention centre.
Invest Christchurch would be involved in meetings for the public around the city plan next week.
Property Council chief executive Connal Townsend said he had met with the presenters and was impressed with what the Christchurch rebuild had to offer.
He had yet to meet with enough members of the council to get a feel for what the real appetite was for capital input into the Christchurch projects within a "good" plan.
"We're probably going to be holding property council events in Auckland around this [rebuild] . . . we strongly support the plan, we're very enthusiastic around it . . .," Townsend said. "I suspect there will certainly be some interest but I can't judge yet."
Christchurch International Airport chief executive Jim Boult said he had met with or was aware of potential investors.
"I think one of the surprising things that is going to come out of this will be the amount of appetite there will be from investors wanting to put more capital into the city rebuild," Boult said.
"I know of a large Australian company that's actively keen on it, and I've also just come out of a meeting with some people from Japan who are also interested in looking at the city as a possible place to invest some of their capital."
- © Fairfax NZ News