Strip club vows to fight move
'Knocking down our building makes no sense'MICHAEL BERRY
Calendar Girls says it will fight the Government through the courts if it tries to demolish its building for the city's proposed eastern "frame".
The central city blueprint made public this week outlines a thick green zone between Manchester and Madras streets on the eastern edge of the central business district.
The Government will buy the land from hundreds of landowners to create a park.
Unlike most property within the corridor, strip club Calendar Girls and gym Les Mills are new, undamaged and open for business.
Central Christchurch Development Unit director Warwick Isaacs told The Press he did not believe the Christchurch strip club fitted the concept of the eastern frame, but thought neighbouring Les Mills "very much might".
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority unit was yet to speak to Calendar Girls, but it had contacted Les Mills, he said.
Calendar Girls director Jacqui Le Prou said she had been told nothing by the CCDU and neither had her landlord.
She expected the strip club and the neighbouring gym would stay because they were two of the city's best-performing buildings - both seismically and commercially.
"Les Mills and us are the highest-earning cashflow businesses in Christchurch."
Cera chief executive Roger Sutton had said publicly that Les Mills was staying, so Le Prou said her building should be able to stay too.
If not, it would be a "hard fight" for the Government in the High Court, she said.
She noted the city blueprint had no designated entertainment precinct and said the area around the strip club and gym had been earmarked for entertainment businesses in the aftermath of the quake.
"We're still a city - we were really great before the quakes - and people still want somewhere to go out and a city to come into."
Knocking down between 80 and 120 buildings, including possibly two of the city's youngest buildings within the green zone, made no sense, she said.
Le Prou also said the Government needed to focus on the people with their homes still in limbo before it started spending in the city centre.
Les Mills New Zealand marketing manager Guy Needham was supportive of the city blueprint.
The Christchurch gym manager said he had gone to a meeting yesterday with Cera and other landowners in the green zone.
The Les Mills gym was built in 2009, while Calendar Girls opened in November 2010. They were both marooned behind the cordon from last February until March this year.
A Cera spokesman said the authority would speak to both companies, but a final decision was yet to be made.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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