Free property seminar proves popular

A free seminar for novice commercial property developers in Canterbury has been swamped.

The seminar, intended for first-time property investors who have lost buildings in the earthquakes and were considering rebuilding, will be held next week - two days after the long-awaited ''blueprint'' for the central city from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority is released.

David MacDonald, a consultant to the Christchurch City Council, said they had stopped accepting at 250.

The seminar on Wednesday afternoon will be held at the Court Theatre in Addington.

MacDonald said the seminar had been promised in the central city draft plan.

The seminar would explain the complexities and high risk of property development and would not encourage or promote investors becoming property developers.

Christchurch had only a small number of ''true developers''.

Property development had always been a high-risk asset class, he said, and would be even more so after the earthquakes.

However, a lot of property investors in the central city now found themselves with demolished buildings and decisions on whether to develop new buildings.

The seminar was ''entry level'' and not telling property owners how to develop.

He would be the seminar's ''facilitator'' and a speaker, and the council would have a couple of speakers on the planning processes and urban design principles.

MacDonald had a commercial property and banking background and has been a private sector commercial property consultant for four years.

The Press