Waltham precinct work starts

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 05:00 22/08/2014

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An old maltworks complex in Christchurch is making way for up to 130 new homes.

Demolition is under way on the Waltham Rd site and construction could begin this year.

The 2.2-hectare block of land, in industrial use since the 1800s, will become a precinct of apartments and townhouses.

Developer and rich-lister Simon Henry's Rapaki Property Group last year abandoned a plan to build the $47 million St Martins Green apartment complex on the site.

Instead, it divided the land into eight smaller blocks so specialist housing developers could take up the project.

Five have been sold to developers from Christchurch and Auckland, and buyers are being lined up for the remaining three.

"It will be really nice when it's finished because it's been an eyesore since I was a boy ..." Henry said. "There's a ... revival going on around those inner areas ..."

The land's medium-density residential zoning means it can be built on up to three storeys high and is likely to take 75 to 130 homes. Originally home to Victoria Malting and more recently to a firewood yard, car parts outlet, paintball range and martial arts studio, the land is between Waltham Park and Waltham School and includes properties in Buffon and Bunyan streets.

Henry said once demolition was finished, soil and hard fill would be removed and replaced in case of industrial contamination. Each developer will then take over their own project.

Those confirmed for the site so far include Auckland-based Global Homes and local company JAB Builders.

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