Many of the 6000 businesses that occupied Christchurch's central business district prior to the quakes are unlikely to ever return, new research from Canterbury University suggests.
Professor Simon Kemp says a different mix of businesses are likely to occupy Christchurch's new compact CBD as commercial areas outside the central city, such as Riccarton, Addington and Sydenham, develop and grow.
Prior to the quakes around 6000 businesses, employing more than 50,000 people, were located within the Four Avenues. Many of those businesses were forced to relocate following the quake because of the extent of the damage to the CBD and others simply ceased trading.
Kemp said while the earthquakes drove many businesses to the suburbs, some would have gone anyway.