New apartments for Manchester St

Last updated 11:00 15/02/2013

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The first lot of central Christchurh apartments, for buyers and renters, will be built by the Government in a joint venture on Manchester St land.

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) will work with two major construction companies to complete designs on a series of one and two-bedroom apartments on a 2000-square-metre site at 399 Manchester St.

The apartments will be energy-efficient, meet new seismic building standards and can be bought or rented.

HNZ asset development general manager Sean Bignell said the site was an excellent location, and the proposals from developers were innovative and exciting.

Awatea Community Housing and Legacy Corporation will work with the Government to finalise designs.

Bignell said HNZ wanted to build one and two-bedroom units as part of the planned three-storey complex.

He said they would appeal to first-home buyers and renters.

About one-third of the new apartments would be kept for HNZ tenants.

''The concept of mixed-tenure apartments is internationally recognised as a positive way of providing both social and affordable housing in environments that are safe, environmentally attractive and enable better community living,'' he said.

Construction on the Manchester St project is due to start in June. It is part of HNZ's programme to build 700 homes over the next three years, ranging from one-bedroom units to four-bedroom homes.

Bignell said HNZ was investing to meet demand and increase the quality of its Canterbury housing stock.

''The damage caused by the earthquakes is such that we are able to build more houses to meet that demand and at the same time create opportunities for affordable housing,'' he said.

The new venture would be the ''benchmark'' for other similar projects across Canterbury and the rest of the country, especially Auckland, Bignell said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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