Blueprint gets green thumbs up

Posted 10 Aug 2012 by MediaStuff Popular
Posted in CBD , Rebuild , Media , CCDU , Legal
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Christchurch landscaping firm Goom sees more opportunities ahead in the implementation of the Christchurch Central Development Unit's new plan for the central city.

Goom Landscapes has been in business so long that some of its staff are deconstructing gardens they built 20 years ago.

Chris Goom founded the business 31 years ago and in 2004 he asked Roger Martin to step in as general manager, when the firm had just seven fulltime staff. It now has 19 fulltime staff.

In 2007, Goom sold the business to his son, Tim Goom, and Martin, and he now works as a design consultant for the company, concentrating on key projects.

Tim Goom and Martin say the central city blueprint is "fantastic".

"We've looked at it a lot. The amount of green is exciting for us," Tim Goom said.

The southern and eastern frame would open up the city, and the precincts were in the right places, he said.

The business has two divisions - landscape architecture and construction - for residential and commercial clients.

Goom is now working on projects for clients developing subdivisions, including Preston Downs in West Melton, as well as a big project working on a technology campus in Burnside.

Goom is also completing work for several Christchurch schools, including St Margaret's College.

Although there were about 20 landscape architects in the city, there were plenty of opportunities in the industry, Martin said.

"Before the earthquake in our particular part of the market, we had been very busy. Since the earthquake, it has changed a little bit and in the last six months, it has picked up a little bit. People want to get on with things."

The earthquake had damaged the properties of clients in the hill suburbs, but some had since bought new properties and had hired Goom to update their gardens or do the landscaping.

The company also had a lot of rural work, a market that had picked up in the past three or four years.

Immediately after the quakes, Goom had been busy with work in places such Geraldine, Akaroa and Ashburton, and the market continued to be strong, they said. "We're most grateful for it," Martin said.

A lot of Christchurch clients were still tied up in their insurance claims processes, which delayed progress on repairs or new landscaping projects.

However the firm had already done several hundred thousand dollars' worth of quake repairs. Turnover was higher than it had been before the earthquake, Martin said.

For Goom, having its own construction team ensured continuity through the project and it was an advantage during construction to have the people who designed it on hand. "Clients are going to get what was designed," Martin said.

The company recently picked up three gold, two silver and one bronze award in the 2012 Landscaping New Zealand's Landscapes of Distinction Awards - the industry's version of the Olympics - including one for the best edible garden.It is fairly unusual for landscape firms to do construction of projects themselves, as landscape architects would usually outsource the construction of their designs.

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