Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says today's commencement of construction on the first multi-level building in Christchurch’s CBD since the February 22 earthquake is an important milestone.
"Moments like this need to be recognised," Mr Brownlee said.
"Today's commencement of construction demonstrates a belief in the future of the central city by the building’s owners, and by the tenants they have secured to occupy the building.
"It sends a message to other property owners in the central city that investing in the future of Christchurch can happen now, ahead of completion in the CBD demolition programme."
This new building is being built on the original Harcourts Grenadier Real Estate building site at 271 Madras Street, which was demolished as a result of damage from February 22 earthquake
The four level building will be constructed to the highest earthquake engineering standards and is due for completion by Christmas. As many as 150 people are expected to be employed during its construction.
Mr Brownlee said he had been encouraged by commercial developments across greater Christchurch receiving consent, gaining appropriate contract works insurance cover, and getting underway.
"Today's commencement of work follows the news of piles being driven on the $20 million Latimer Lodge hotel site at Latimer Square, and consent being granted for a $7 million 20-shop boutique mall in the old Woolston Tannery complex on Cumnor Terrace.
"We're also aware of supermarkets, aged care facilities and other commercial developments getting underway across the region.
"New Zealanders can take heart that commercial redevelopment of Christchurch is well underway," Mr Brownlee said.