Only 11 months after the Christchurch Central Police Station was imploded in spectacular fashion, the new King Edward Barracks development is rising from the rubble.
During the last week of April, Hawkins Construction reached a significant milestone by completing the top floor of the new building that sits on the old Police site at 48 Hereford Street. They are also building the adjoining office tower at 93 Cambridge Terrace and expect that to reach the same stage in a matter of weeks.
To mark the moment, Ngāi Tahu Property chief executive David Kennedy together with Steve Taw, Hawkins’ South Island Regional Manager, poured the final concrete to complete the top floor.
Mr Kennedy says that both Ngāi Tahu Property and Hawkins were extremely proud of the speed at which they have been able to advance this building.
The total first stage of the $85 million project includes two office buildings and a car parking building, together with a central garden area, and is set to be completed by February 2017.
Mr Kennedy says a huge amount of rubble and debris had to be removed after the implosion and construction of foundations only started in September last year.
“In that context, reaching the top of the building in early May is very significant,” says Mr Kennedy.
He says that the leasing is progressing well with the majority of the offices already leased.
“Once the entire development is completed it will be a genuine landmark project in the city,” says Mr Kennedy before noting that many other projects are also set to be completed around the same time in early 2017.
“All these new buildings will bring thousands of people back into the central city and radically enhance the vibrancy of the CBD.”
Mr Taw said that the Hawkins project team was well on track.
“We are delighted with the speed of progress which is testament to the excellent design work done around this project.
“It demonstrates Ngāi Tahu Property’s ability to keep the design process on target, which makes life so much easier for the construction partner,” says Mr Taw.
The South Island Regional Manager said that the KEB project reinforced the partnership between Ngāi Tahu and Hawkins.
“We work closely together with the He Toki ki te RikaMāori pre-trade training programme and it has been wonderful to again have the opportunity to extend that solid relationship to such a significant project.”
The five-storey building at 48 Hereford Street is already 78% leased, by three Government tenants - the Ministry of Education, Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Health, along with Vero Insurance.
The neighbouring office building at 93 Cambridge Terrace is 64% occupied with Aurecon and EY as the main tenants.
The precinct-style development sitting within the recently reborn West End suburb will become a vibrant and vital link between Christchurch’s central retail area, Hagley Park, the Cultural Precinct and the Civic Building.
The master plan has been developed in conjunction with architects Warren and Mahoney and may include a number of inner-city apartments however, these still require further design and are still subject to testing of market demand.
The sites’ location in the heart of Christchurch’s new CBD together with its central gardens, will deliver a level of amenity that is already keenly sought-after among potential occupiers.