Bars shift from SOL to Terrace
Two businessmen will build new bars next to The Terrace hospitality strip in central Christchurch after abandoning plans to revive Sol Square.
Bar owner Max Bremner and property developer Richard Peebles will put up a new three-storey building on the corner of Hereford St and Oxford Tce. The site has Antony Gough's The Terrace hospitality development partly constructed on two sides.
Bremner lost businesses, including jazz bar Fat Eddies and brewpub Yellow Cross, when popular Sol Square was wrecked in the quakes. He and Peebles had hoped to buy and rebuild the square, but that had proven too hard, he said.
They have now bought the former Sun Alliance House and Boulevard restaurant site from investors Cristo Ltd. Their building design will go before the urban design panel for feedback in a few days. The pair hope it will be open by Show Week 2015.
Bremner said Fat Eddies would go on the first floor and either Yellow Cross or a quieter hospitality business at street level. The top floor would be leased as office space.
To match The Terrace, the riverside building would have a 6 square metre outdoor area, plus a full width balcony facing the Avon River opposite. Rebuild rules for the land require owners to work together to prevent piecemeal development.
Peebles said the design was "rustic and cool" and would include high ceilings and windows, bi-fold doors, concrete, cedar weatherboards, copper, and wrought iron hand rails.
Construction of Gough's much-larger project next door has stalled while he reworks his finances. It will include restaurants, bars, offices, and laneways.
Sol Square, meanwhile, is still for sale.