Amongst a hive of activity there is no question that suburban north-eastern Christchurch is well and truly in a heightened rebuild phase. Horizontal infrastructure continues, which of course means endless road works and the need to almost weekly plot a new course to get to work! Both commercial and residential construction is constantly emerging on the horizon and it’s heartening to see these new builds scattered throughout the older eastern suburbs. This definitely proves “life after” and confirms the desire of locals to return and re-establish themselves where they left off nearly five years ago – the end result is far better than the former.
Public infrastructure is evident and is making its mark strategically in key locations, all of which are set to underpin future values in the east to northeast of the city. Such key assets include:
With five new schools being built within a 5km radius of the Parklands Mall, the education sector has some exciting times ahead with these state-of-the-art learning centres providing tomorrow’s pupils some of the best facilities on offer in the country, in addition to the employment opportunities they will create. Such new schools include: Marshland, Watakiri and Rawhiti Primary Schools, plus the relocation of Avonside Girls’ High and Shirley Boy’s High schools to the former QEII site.
Currently well under construction, by the completion date in 2016, over 30,000 sqm of new buildings will be designed, built and kitted out. Along with work on the Christchurch Hospital, it has been described by the former Health Minister as the “largest and most complex building project in the history of New Zealand’s public health service”. Older people’s health services at Princess Margaret Hospital are also to be moved to Burwood Hospital as part of the project. People love to work where they live – and one needn’t be a rocket scientist to figure that Burwood is likely to become increasingly attractive to those who work there.
The new facility will not be a like-for-like replacement for QEII, which was originally designed for use during the 1974 Commonwealth Games. Instead, the new facility will be designed to accommodate the needs of the surrounding community and service Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ High Schools which are to be located on the same site. Features proposed for the facility include a 25 x 25 metre lane pool, hydroslides and water toys, a toddlers’ pool area, outdoor/BBQ areas, a fitness centre, a group exercise studio and a café. A budget of $30.4 million has been allocated to the project.
Looking beyond the bubble of the rebuild, I believe that these key anchoring assets will certainly assist with re-establishing the communities they represent, along with servicing the east with full educational services from year 0 to 13. Bring it on and already people are seeking residential opportunity based on the perceived regeneration of the eastern suburbs.