Cera unveils plan for Christchurch waterfront development

By Cullen Smith of The Star

Christchurch recovery plans - Avon River. Photo / supplied
Christchurch recovery plans - Avon River. Photo / supplied

Christchurch will have a waterfront park development stretching for 3km along the Avon River as one the first key projects in the central city rebuild, announced today.

A multi-company consortium led by Opus was named today as the successful tenderer to develop concept plans for a 50-metre wide precinct from Christchurch Hospital at Oxford Tce, following the river to Fitzgerald Ave.

The recovery blueprint, announced in July, identified the Avon River Precinct and North and East Frames as priorities to promote recreation, business growth and central city living.

Preliminary planning will begin in the new year, with Opus and its consortium partners BDP, Arup, EOS Ecology and Royal Associates Architects having 65 days from January 1 to come up with detailed concept plans before a start to construction, scheduled for later in the year.

The projects are expected to take three years to complete.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority is overseeing the projects, along with the Christchurch City Council, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, and Environment Canterbury.

Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said today's announcement marked an important step in the city's recovery.

"Next year is the year we really want to start doing things. We really want to start seeing some real action happening here,'' he said.

Mr Sutton said ideas from the public that were included in the central Christchurch blueprint would be incorporated into the project's design.

Opus southern regional manager Glen Hughes said consortium partners had been involved in developing the Liverpool One shopping, residential and leisure complex in Liverpool, a waterfront park in China, and a university complex next to a river in Wales.

The consortium would be looking at elements of waterfront development in Brisbane and Melbourne.

"Essentially this is the waterfront of Christchurch,'' Mr Hughes said at today's announcement on the banks of the Avon River.

"We really feel excited about this opportunity,'' he said.

The consortium felt the "weight of responsibility'' from the city council's Share an Idea campaign last year that gave a clear message that the Avon River was important to residents.

"The river if the lifeblood of the city,'' Mr Hughes said.

He said the consortium was still open to ideas, but one concept that would be developed was a "family playground complex'' at the Centennial Pool site.

- Christchurch Star

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