New entrant in city's rebuild

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 11:31 20/11/2013
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PLANNED REPLACEMENT: The new building will be finished next year.

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LIZ MCDONALD checks out the latest plan for Moorhouse Avenue's growing office precinct.

Land along the Moorhouse Ave block between Antigua and Selwyn streets between central Christchurch and Addington is already a busy strip for property development.

Unlike the shopping complex focus closer to Colombo St and the industrial past of the area, the Addington end is becoming a precinct of new office buildings similar to those on nearby Lincoln Rd.

Property owner Paul Kelly has put up several new office buildings on his two hectares of sites running east from the Selwyn St corner, and has another under construction.

Down by Antigua St fellow landlord Richard Peebles is also planning a new development, his second on Moorhouse Ave.

In the middle of these is a new entrant to property development in the area, CJ Redmond Ltd.

The company is owned by the Redmond family, who have previously completed property developments including bulk retail outlets in Ashburton, where they also own a furniture store business and nearby retail properties including Ashburton Arcade and the Ashburton Guardian newspaper building.

Now they have widened their development focus to Christchurch to be part of the rebuild.

A year ago they bought the 136 Moorhouse Ave site between Selwyn and Antigua streets, which was home to businesses Konica Minolta and Cogent Communications until the earthquakes.

Their plan is to put a new office and retail building on the land to replace those lost to the earthquakes, matching the new planning requirements for that strip of the avenue for commercial buildings with car parking in front.

They have resource consent for the project, a two-storey building designed by family member Phil Redmond, and are going through building consent processes now.

Company spokesman Graeme Redmond, a real estate agent in Christchurch with NAI Harcourts, said they hope to start work early next year and have construction finished by this time next year.

They are looking for office tenants for both upstairs and downstairs, and a retail tenant and cafe operator for the rest of the ground floor.

Graeme Redmond said they have businesses interested, but most tenants want to see "pegs in the ground" before committing to a development.

"We do design build for tenants usually, this is probably the first spec one we've done. We felt Moorhouse Ave was a good place to start.

"We wanted to expand our assets out of Ashburton. The problem down there is you cannot get the same rents, but the build cost is the same."

The owners want lease terms of at least six years for the Moorhouse Ave project, which for now they are calling Moorhouse 136.

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