Ōtākaro Limited has selected Studio D4, led by Patrick Fontein, as the preferred developer for the building at 224 Cashel St (former IRD building) and the Cashel Chambers and carpark.
Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive Albert Brantley says Mr Fontein’s projects, including the Vodafone, Kathmandu, Dux Central, Lichfield Lanes and Innovation Carpark developments, have played an integral part in the success of the Innovation Precinct.
“His vision and ability to deliver will ensure this building, at the heart of the East Frame and adjacent to the Innovation Precinct, will be of great benefit to those living and working there.”
“The redevelopment of this large building will provide a space for successful smaller businesses in the Innovation Precinct to expand, while students will benefit from studying, working and living right alongside these innovative companies.”
The eight storey, 16,000 m2 building sits on the edge of the central city, within the East Frame Residential development and on the north edge of the Innovation Precinct.
Mr Fontein says with Rauora Park, thousands of residents and the CBD on its doorstep the building presents a unique opportunity to further enhance the success of the Innovation Precinct.
“Studio D4 intends to create an education, research and technology transfer hub named - ‘The Lighthouse’”.
“There will be a series of technology companies, ICT education organisations and student accommodation within the building. This technology incubator will match tertiary technology with commercial application. There will be a focus on the commercialisation of university research, matched to the specific requirements of growth companies.” says Mr Fontein.
Mr Brantley says while details around the Crown’s purchase and sale of the building will remain a commercial matter this agreement again demonstrates Ōtākaro Limited’s ability to balance commercial returns with positive regeneration outcomes for Christchurch.
“This agreement follows on from the divestment of land in the Retail Precinct for the Riverside Farmers’ Market and the site opposite the Bus Interchange for the Hoyts Cinema. I look forward to seeing more development proposals that will attract people to the central city for the remaining land held by Ōtākaro.”
The Cashel Chambers buildings will be reinstated as hospitality, retail and office space next year. Work on the redevelopment of 224 Cashel St is expected to get underway around April 2018.