Convention centre plans unveiled

Parts of Gloucester St to be closed to traffic

SARAH-JANE O'CONNOR AND GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 14:56 07/08/2014

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Plenary Conventions, Ngai Tahu Property and Christchurch's Carter Group will design and build the convention centre, the Government has announced today. 

Prime Minister John Key and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee today revealed the preferred developer and operator of one of the central-city's key anchor projects.

Hotel operator Accor has been chosen as the preferred operator. 

Brownlee said the announcement was a "big milestone for a project that will provide a major boost to the economic heart of the rebuilt Christchurch".

The next step would be to formally enter into a master planning and development phase, he said.

Plenary group executive director Paul Crowe said the convention centre was one of the "most critical and exciting anchor projects in the rebuild of the city".

He said it was an "irresistible challenge".

"This is a rare opportunity in all of our professional lives to be part of such an important catalyst project."

Brownlee acknowledged that the process had been lengthy "with only minimal information publicly available".

"There is a very good reason for this," he said. "We needed to ensure we followed a thorough, fair and considered approach to find the best possible development consortium and operator."

The Crown has committed $284 million to the project. Construction is expected to begin in 2015 with the centre set to open in 2017.

The convention centre will straddle two central city blocks, closing a section of Gloucester St to traffic between Oxford Tce and Colombo St.

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- The Press

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