Westpac is to move back into a low rise precinct in the Christchurch CBD.
Westpac Chief Executive, Peter Clare, says while the exact site has yet to be determined the bank is committed to being part of the economic heart of the city and is excited by the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan announced today.
“Westpac is committed to being part of the new Christchurch CBD. Christchurch is one of our largest cities and the economic gateway to the South Island. It is important that other major businesses support the plan with action and commitment and provide the support needed for growth and a vibrant environment. Re-establishing the CBD is an important step toward that,” Mr Clare said.
Westpac expects it to be approximately three years before it moves into a purpose built, low rise building with a minimum 5 star Green Star rating. Since the earthquake of September 2010 Westpac has based itself out of Show Place in Addington, across the road from where it built the Westpac Business and Community Hub for dislocated businesses.
Aside from a corporate presence back in the CBD Westpac will also look to have a strong branch and retail presence noting we already have a container branch in Cashel Mall and we have reopened our branch in Sydenham.
Draft and confidential
Westpac is committed to being part of the new Christchurch CBD and playing our role in re-establishing the economic heart of the city.
Why is Westpac moving back to the CBD
The CBD is the economic heart of any city and the new, low rise campus style precinct revealed today is a positive step to achieving that for Christchurch once again. As the major bank in the region, we feel a responsibility to play our part and similar commitment and action from other big businesses will instil confidence and help recreate a vibrant commercial environment. That’s important not just for the city but for the South Island.
Have you consulted with Christchurch staff about moving back in / how does staff feel about moving back to the CBD
Our people are a priority and we fully understand what they have been through and what many continue to go through. The move is probably about three years away and staff will be kept up to date as the process unfolds.
What if staff don’t want to move back in / has there been resistance to moving back in
We are looking at a purpose built low rise building built to the highest of standards. We will work with all our people to make them feel at ease and safe.
Why is the CBD so important / hasn’t the city and local business adapted.
The CBD is the economic heart of a city and the more businesses commit to re-establishing themselves there, the more confidence it will instil in the community and the local economy. Many Christchurch businesses are operating ad hoc as we see everyday in the Westpac Business Hub that we established for dislocated businesses which is still operating at around 90% occupancy.
What would you like to see from other big business?
We feel a responsibility to play our role and it will help confidence in Christchurch if other big businesses show commitment and action to get the CBD up and running again.
“It is important for business to show its commitment to the CBD because it has a crucial role in the recovery and instilling confidence,” Mr Clare said.