Christchurch’s booming economy and rising population is putting construction on hold for a second year.
The Christchurch City Council said the first phase of a $5 billion redevelopment project that was due to begin this year is still not complete.
The council said the second phase of the project, due to start next year, will include a hotel, apartments, shops and offices.
The third phase, due for completion next year will see construction of a new sports complex, including a track and field stadium.
It said it was unsure how long the first two phases of the new development would take to complete.
“This is a very difficult situation for the council and the people of Christchurch,” council president Grant Thornton said.
“The construction of these new developments will be costly and disruptive for many of the residents of the city.”
He said construction of the second and third phases could take more than a year to complete and that many of these projects were still being worked on.
The mayor said the council had made good progress with the second stage of the redevelopment project.
“It has taken us a long time to get through this first phase, but we have made some very significant progress and now we are going to be able to get the third phase under way,” Mayor Lianne Dalziel said.
The city’s new mayor also announced a $1 million grant to help pay for a new library, to be built on the site of the former Royal New Zealand Hospital, in the central business district.
She said the city would also be taking steps to help local businesses and residents with rental accommodation, including expanding access to affordable rental accommodation.
“We will be looking at ways to make it easier for businesses and individuals to rent apartments, for example through new or improved access to rental accommodation,” she said.
Christchurch was a hotbed of activity in the 1980s and 1990s, but construction has been slowed by the housing shortage.
The last major project to be completed was the Christchurch Harbourfront Development, a $2 billion project to redevelop the port and the city’s industrial areas.
The port and city’s commercial and retail areas were left without a project for years.
Christborough City Council chief executive Steve Jackson said the community was “deeply saddened” by the closure of the harbourfront.
“I hope we have managed to get this project completed quickly so the harbour can be reopened to the community in the near future,” he said.
A $5 million grant was also announced by the mayor to help cover costs associated with the reconstruction of the Christborough Community School.
He said the grant would allow for “some of the extra costs associated to this process” such as the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the school and other projects.
“These projects are very significant and we are determined to make sure they are delivered on schedule and on budget,” he told reporters.
“What we want to do is to make the schools a very attractive destination for people to come to for the weekend, for the Christmas holidays, and to provide a safe haven for families, particularly young people.”
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