New Majestic church to open 2016

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 17:09 08/04/2013
Cranmer Courts
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ

COMPLETED: Demolition of the Cranmer Courts finished last year.

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The site of the historic Cranmer Court building has been sold to the Majestic Church for $10 million.

The 800-member church had operated out of the former Majestic Theatre building on the corner of Manchester and Lichfield streets before the February 2011 earthquake.

Senior minister Leo Hanssen said the purchase of the Cranmer Court site was funded by the church's insurance payout for its former buildings, some of which were still awaiting demolition.

The old church site would become part of the green frame under the Christchurch Central Development Unit's blueprint plan.

Hanssen said the church had wanted to stay in the central city and the 7183 square metre Cranford Court site would allow it to build a community-based facility as part of the new Victoria St precinct.

"Our vision is to build something that a lot of groups will be able to use - we don't just want a building for church on Sunday."

 The Majestic Church opened in Christchurch in 1962 and operated from Manchester St from 1978 to February 2011.

It was currently leasing premises in Moorhouse Ave.

Planning for the new facility would begin soon and Hanssen hoped it would be opened in 2016.

The Gothic-style Cranmer Court building was demolished last year after attempts to save it were unsuccessful.

Colliers International managing director Hamish Doig said there had been a number of tenders for the Cranmer Court site after it was put up for sale by its 31 owners.

"The keen competition for this highlights the demand we're experiencing for quality inner city land. We're quickly realising that you can't predict who will be the eventual purchaser because so many organisations have been displaced and demand is coming from a variety of sources."

David Chambers, chairman of the body corporate, said that the sale would help owners get on with their lives.

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