Forsyth Barr building for sale 'as-is-where-is'

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 09:58 22/11/2013
Forsyth Barr
Stacy Squires

FORSYTH BARR: The 17-storey office block was badly damaged in the quakes. Pictured here in July 2013.

Forsyth Barr rescue
John Kirk-Anderson
QUAKE ESCAPE: Collapsed stairwells forced office workers to escape Forsyth Barr by rope after the February 2011 quake.

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One of the last high-rises in the central city is being sold 'as is, where is' if the price is right.

The 17-storey Forsyth Barr building was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake and staircases collapsed, trapping people on upper floors.

The owners have finally settled their insurance claim after months of negotiation and managing director of Colliers International Hamish Doig said expert reports showed the tower could be brought up to 100 per cent of the building code.

He said he was expecting considerable interest in this building because of its position right in the heart of the performing arts precinct, next to the planned Convention Centre and Victoria Square.

''There are plenty of cashed developers looking for prime opportunities in the core who have the appetite and vision to take on a project like this,'' Doig said.

The building, on the corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets, could be converted into an apartment complex, hotel or refurbished as office space.

Tenders for the building would close on December 18.

''Subject to what offers come in the owners will determine whether they sell or redevelop,'' he said.

Christchurch Central Development Unit director Warwick Isaacs said there were ongoing discussions with the building's owners ''given its designation as part of the performing arts precinct''.

Peter Rae, a director of the company that owns the building, told The Press ''no pursuit is necessarily exclusive''.

''While this process is going on, we will still continue our discussions with [the CCDU] and we will continue to mull over other options with our advisers and engineers.''

He said the owners had considered all options including partial or total demolition, conversion, refurbishment and selling.

It would likely be a couple of months before a "clear direction" was known, he said.

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