First step for River Precinct

Release Date: 20 September 2012

Attracting people back into the central city is a key component in the design plan for part of the city’s new Frame and Papa o Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) is now calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from design, cost control and project management professionals interested in the first Anchor Projects to go to market – the Avon River Precinct, the North Frame and a portion of the East Frame.

The Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) will be overseeing the process.

CCDU director, Warwick Isaacs, says the EOI is the first stage of the process. Once a shortlist list of appropriately experienced consultants has been identified, they will be invited to submit their detailed proposals for consideration.

Mr Isaacs says these proposals will need to address the design aspirations identified by the community in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, and the need for fast tracking work and the multiple construction stages using multiple contractors.

The values of Ngai Tahu will also need to be reflected in the design, given the strong and important relationship the Runanga has with the Avon River.

The design project will begin next month, with construction on the Avon River Precinct anticipated to begin this summer. The entire project will need to be delivered in stages by 2014.

“But at this stage we are just telling people to let us know they are keen to be part of the process. We want to be able to choose from a list of experienced, appropriate consultants who understand the vision for this exciting new city we are building.”

Mr Isaacs says some of the key elements he will be looking for in the detailed proposal will be the creation of a public space that prioritises pedestrians and recreation, the recognition of the natural and cultural heritage of Victoria Square as the heart of the river precinct, and generally make the precinct a primary destination in the CBD which supports the area’s new urban living.

“There has been plenty of discussion about what the city and the Frame could look like and the Christchurch City Council’s extremely successful Share an Idea project delivered a clear vision to work towards. This is now the time for those with the requisite experience to put their hands up and let us know they want to be involved in making that vision a reality.”

After months of planning, it is great to see work getting underway to develop some of the key projects within the central city, in particular the Avon River Precinct, says Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt.

“The Avon River Precinct was identified by our community as one of the key projects to reconnect residents with the heart of the city and reinforce the city’s garden city identity.

“Not only will the River Precinct promote healthy, sustainable and active living within the central city, it will celebrate our natural environment and provide links between the areas of the central city as it is redeveloped.”

He says during Share an Idea, our community told us they wanted a central city full of green and inviting spaces, which all three of the projects going out for Expressions of Interest help achieve.

“These projects are also critical in creating an environment which provides a level of certainty for developers and property owners looking to redevelop in the central city.”

Mr Marryatt says this is a significant milestone for the community in the redevelopment of the central city.

The request for Expressions of Interest is available through the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS).

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