First New Christchurch Inner City Apartments Announced
The first new Christchurch inner city apartments within the four avenues will be built on Manchester Street.
Housing New Zealand will work with two major consortia over the next three months to complete designs for new apartments to be built on its 2000 square metre site at 399 Manchester Street.
Making the announcement, General Manager Asset Development Sean Bignell said the site was in an excellent location for new housing and the proposals put forward by the developers were both innovative and exciting.
‘We will be working with Awatea Community Housing and Legacy Corporation to take the project to the next stage,’ he said.
‘Awatea is a consortium comprising Arrow International Ltd, e-Home Global Ltd and Pacific Environments Ltd. Legacy Corporation includes Architex and Creative Bank. Both groups have come up with different concept plans and each is worthy of taking further. Both also have a dedicated interest in Christchurch and Canterbury. We want to get the best possible outcome for Christchurch with a fresh and invigorating approach to design and construction.’
Housing New Zealand stipulated its requirements in the Expressions of Interest that closed in November. From eleven separate large-scale proposals each from a consortium of developers, Housing New Zealand has shortlisted two following detailed presentations and discussions.
‘We are looking at one and two-bedroomed units within a three storey apartment complex that meet our criteria – energy efficiency, designs that meet new seismic building standards and will appeal to first home buyers as well as people wanting to rent. 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.’
‘The project is part of Housing New Zealand’s programme to build 700 houses within the next three years. Some of the new construction will be one and two bedroom units and we will also continue to build three and four bedroom houses. We are investing to support demand and at the same time to increase the quality of our housing stock in Canterbury. 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.’
Mr Bignell said Housing New Zealand would keep about one third of the new apartments on Manchester Street for its tenants.
‘What we build on Manchester Street will be the benchmark for other similar projects in Canterbury and for other parts of New Zealand, especially Auckland.’
The timeline for developing the property meant that Housing New Zealand would be in a position to turn the first sod on site in June this year, he said.