Cup Week goal for CBD
Last updated 17:50 07/04/2011
Building owners, Civil Defence and the Christchurch City Council have joined forces to restore part of the city's quake-ravaged central business district in time for New Zealand Cup and Show Week.
The Central City Property Owners and Business Group chair, John Suckling, said the project aimed to have buildings open for business by October 29, and they would work to install expo-style structures for retailers and hospitality owners who could not reopen in quake-wrecked properties.
Mr Suckling said there was a lot of work to be done in the next seven months but everyone was willing to work together for the benefit of the city.
"This is the first step in getting retail and hospitality operations up and running in the CBD. We hope that our initiative will encourage other retailers across the city to look at different options to restart their businesses."
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Brownlee said the initiative was a great sign of co-operation.
"This is an important symbolic move that tells the people of Christchurch we're serious about getting business back on its feet and rebuilding the central city," Mr Brownlee said.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said it was critical to re-establish business activity within the central city or the city's future would be bleak.
From October 29, Christchurch people would be able to shop and eat in the central city again, he said.
"It is essential we re-open on this date in preparation for New Zealand Cup and Show Week, one of our busiest and most prosperous weeks of the year, and for Christmas trade."
Ballantynes managing director Mary Devine said the project was a temporary solution to get retailers and the hospitality industry operational again, and did not pre-empt any big picture decisions which would guide the future redevelopment of central Christchurch.