Christchurch rebuild 'about to get visible' - Arrow

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 09/04/2013
Ian Smith
STACY SQUIRES/Fairfax NZ
THINKING BIG: Ian Smith, director of strategy and growth for Arrow International, is backed by Christchurch’s changing skyline.

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Invisible design work being done in the quake-damaged city centre will soon turn into much more visible construction projects and jobs, says a Christchurch-based director of project manager Arrow International.

Ian Smith, who is director of strategy and growth for Arrow International, said while some rebuild frustrations remain, particularly around the slow path to recovery in the central business district, preparation work was well underway.

Arrow, which designs and oversees building construction projects, works in both the residential and commercial sectors.

It has a growing number of high-profile projects, including the revitalisation of the area previously known as The Strip along Cashel Mall and Oxford Tce, and about $150m worth of secured projects for the next couple of years.

That figure excludes work associated with project management for Southern Response, the group managing the outstanding claims of insurer, AMI.

"There's an invisible phase before a project moves into construction," Smith said.

"So when the digger arrives on site, things become quite visible, don't they. But there's a long period of time spent getting the design, doing the procurement before you start on site."

Arrow had completed the bulk of demolition projects it was involved in with joint venture partners, Smith said.

These included the three-storey Amuri Courts; and the 22-storey PWC building on Armagh St, helped by "Twinkle Toes", a high-reaching excavator owned by Nikau Contractors.

Arrow had already done six months of preparation work on Antony Gough's $100 million Heritage Holdings redevelopment of The Strip and City Mall in the CBD. Gough owns the 8500-square-metre site with his brother Tracy Gough.

"We've been design building and working with [the Goughs] to redevelop. So that will be a staged project," Smith said.

"We're also working for ECan on their new offices which will be going on Tuam St, opposite the old civic offices."

Separately, the company was working on the design for a new school for Pegasus township north of Woodend, with the school planned to open for the 2014 year. It had already repaired about 250 of quake-damaged houses for Housing NZ.

Other projects Arrow is involved in include the Portlink Industrial Park, a 30-hectare development near Woolston, commercial builds at Christchurch International Airport and a new warehouse build for Allied Pickfords on Mcteigue Rd, off Halswell Junction Rd.

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Arrow would chase larger opportunities in the city, as outlined in the Christchurch Central Development Unit blueprint, but had missed out on the convention centre build, Smith said.

"We definitely have an interest in the anchor projects . . . certainly the Metro Sports centre would be of interest to us, and potentially the stadium . . . I guess from the supply side the key thing is to get some visibility around the timing of those projects, how they're going to be delivered and how they're going to be procured."

Arrow's previous Madras St office near Latimer Square was demolished after the February 22 earthquake, but about 80 of Arrow's staff have recently returned to the city, taking up residence at 534 Colombo St, opposite South City.

The refurbished building will be officially opened on April 19 by Prime Minister John Key.

Arrow has increased staff to around 210 from 30 two years ago with further growth anticipated.

- BusinessDay.co.nz

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