High rents, road works, competition and lack of patrons hurt the city's restaurants and bars.
For lease signs and graffiti occupy the windows of new shopfronts along Selwyn St.
Central Christchurch business group desperate to keep $100,000 council grant.
Residents eager to see the declining Linwood Village redeveloped are fed up with "visible signs" of homelessness and substance abuse in the area.
A major Japanese hotel group has bought land in Cathedral Square for about $7m to build a big hotel.