So What is new in High Street?
- Well Rangiora’s High Street is moving forward with its re-development. Lucky them. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/north-canterbury/75734380/rangioras-high-street-developments-taking-shape
- There is noticeable progress on the rebuild on the Mckenzie & Willis site, behind us. I believe this is due to be finished in March 2016. The Vodafone and Kathmandu buildings in Tuam Street are also close to completion.
- CERA/CCDU/Regenerate appear to have made no progress on the sale off the 7 Duncan’s Units that they own. It is still unclear what their intentions are.
- There has been a vigorous debate raging on the Press Web site about the new bus lanes to be built on St Asaph Street, the main concerns for the retailers is the loss of 120 car parks on St Asaph Street. It is a cyclist vs Business argument. Neither side is very tolerant of the others concerns. Personally I am disappointed with the cycle lane it only runs 4-5 blocks and ends in space. Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/74689538/tension-as-car-parks-make-way-for-cycleways-in-central-christchurch
- There have been fluro clad contractors wandering along High street doing measurements for the new tram tracks. The irony is that they will not be able to lay said tracks until the 7 Duncan’s units are sorted out. That is going to be like watching paint dry.
- I have had to ring the cops again last week to get some creeps off my deck and roof. And at 10.50 pm last night some low life smashed our plate glass window. That required emergency measures to seal up the hole. A quick late night re arrange of the red zone fencing was required. Damn stuff finally came in useful after 5 years.
The larger issue here is that at night there are young men (mainly) roaming aimlessly in the central city. Too many empty buildings, open spaces and bars are not a good mix. There appears to be a total lack of a police presence. And CERA’s red zone High Street fencing has more hole in it than a Swiss cheese. They are not protecting the 7 units that they own and have abdicated from ALL their responsibilities for the security of their property. They are not a great example for the rest of the city.
- The City Council is trying to deal with the long term parking issue in High Street by reinstating some meters that have been trapped in the red zone fencing for 5 years. This is helpful!
- The floor is finished and the painters start painting our retail area tomorrow. Then we require the electrician. ( And the window man!)
Some General observations. The reality of trying to run a business in the Christchurch CBD.
- There is re-building occurring in small isolated pockets across the city.
The pockets of retail are so dispersed that there are no groupings of like minded retailers with similar products.
- It is not easy to get from one pocket to the other and no incentive to do so.
- The retailers left in the city, (apart from the Cashel container mall) are in the main, retailers who have managed to remain in place after the earthquakes. ie those whose buildings did not suffer major damage. They are few in number.
- There appears to be no plan. Certainly no time scale or concerted efforts to co-ordinate appear to be in place. There is no information, advice or direction available. (Many retailers are reluctant to return to the CBD until some certainty returns).
- There are so many bars in the city that I can not see how they are sustainable. They are busy on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights. The increase in bar and cafe numbers appears unsustainable. The central city is at night “awash with vomit and drunk young people”.
- The endless road cones and slow road repairs/alterations. This is hindering access to the retailers attempting to trade. Finding a park is becoming increasingly difficult. The new layouts being designed by CERA/CCDU will also remove many of the parks in the central city. It means that our customers can not get to us let alone park within walking distance. (Simple example, St Asaph Street under the latest “proposal” will lose 109 parks).
- The parking buildings have not been rebuilt.
- The foot paths in many area are a hazard to walkers. The elderly are in serious danger of falling over rubble. (I will also confess to coming unstuck in a pot hole).
- Lack of progress by CERA/CCDU to actually finish any projects. The Justice precinct is being built and the bus depot is more or less finished. The Margaret Mahy park is now open. Other than that I can not think of a single project that CERA/CCDU has actually finished.
- Lack of resolution of the Christchurch Cathedral issue. The lack of progress or a decision regarding the iconic Cathedral is stalling development around the square. Again causing a lack of confidence.
Conclusion: no one is lobbying for the Central City. The opposition, Labour, The Greens and NZ First are invisible.
Ho hum… another day spent sorting out CERA’s security issues.