'Lively' new plans for Christchurch 'Strip'
Bold new plans have been unveiled for a $100 million redevelopment of The Strip in central Christchurch.
Christchurch property investor Anthony Gough plans to transform half a block on the banks of the Avon River into a slice of Melbourne - complete with laneways, courtyards, roof terraces, retail outlets, bars, a boutique hotel, a multi-storey car park, offices and restaurants.
Gough hopes to start building the first stage of the development on Oxford Terrace in June, with opening set for October 2014.
He said he wanted the development to be a "benchmark" for the city's rebuild.
"We are looking for a top-quality development. We are not sparing anything on getting it right. You can build cheap and get things up in a hurry, but we are building for longevity. We are investing in Christchurch," he said.
"We want this to be the living room of Christchurch where people will want to move. We want it to be a lively area."
Gough and his design team have been working on the design for six months, including a four-day research trip to Melbourne and a trip to Auckland.
Gough owns the 8500 square metre site with his brother Tracy Gough and has completed designs ready to be submitted for approval by the Christchurch City Council.
The $30 million first stage of development will rebuild the bars and restaurants that used to be on the terrace overlooking the river.
There will be twice as many bars and restaurants in the development as there were before the earthquakes.
Gough said he wanted the new bars to attract an older crowd, rather than "people who have been pre-loading before they come into town in a bad mood".
The bars will be two to three storeys high, with seven-storey office buildings planned for the back of the site. Six laneways will cross the site and meet in a central piazza.
The second stage of the development, including a 70-room boutique hotel, would begin construction once 60 per cent of the space was pre-leased.
The completed development will include about 45,000 square metres of space covering about half of the site.
"We could have doubled the size of the development, but we wanted to let lots of light in. You have to give back to the city so it can give back to you."
The 320-space multi-storey car park was a "critical" part of the redevelopment, he said.
The development, known as The Terrace, will feature "much more quirky and interesting tenants than you would find in a mall."
"We want tenants that will stand out on their own."