Press Release – Convergence
A permanent new entertainment hub is planned to open in mid 2012 in Addington, near Hagley Park and adjacent to the new Court Theatre site.Media release 12 October 2011
Woods Mill – new entertainment hub near Hagley Park
An exciting new private venture for Christchurch incorporating:
* restaurants & bars * events / functions venue * markets * live theatre & music
A permanent new entertainment hub is planned to open in mid 2012 in Addington, near Hagley Park and adjacent to the new Court Theatre site.
Woods Mill has been designed to meet demand for a premium ‘work and play’ neighbourhood close to the central city. Its primary focus is to re-establish a dozen former inner city bars and restaurants which have failed to find a home since the 22 February earthquake. Ten confirmed expressions of interest from some of Christchurch’s most stylish and cutting edge hospitality businesses are currently being converted to leases.
Similar to the former Sol Square and Poplar Lane developments, Woods Mill will be more diverse, incorporating live theatre, markets, live music, as well as a new functions venue designed to accommodate corporate events and weddings – sectors which have been seriously impacted by closure of the CBD.
The project will result in refurbishment of two Heritage 2 buildings constructed in the 1890s – the former Woods Brothers’ flour mill and the grain store. Constructed to accommodate the weight of heavy machinery and thousands of tonnes of grain and flour, both suffered little earthquake damage. The developers have applied for support from the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Building Fund to assist with strengthening and upgrading the properties.
Located at the end of Wise Street in Addington, Woods Mill is also adjacent to the popular Addington Coffee Company and other new bars and cafes which have re-established at the Hagley Park end of Lincoln Road.
Project director Richmond Paynter says Woods Mill ticks all the boxes.
“Being so close to the CBD the hub is highly complementary to the inner city rebuild. It also involves saving some historic buildings that – let’s be honest – prior to the earthquakes no-one was even interested in. And, given the critical mass of being adjacent to both the Court and Mill Theatres, the development really delivers something that’s going to breathe life back into our city and put Christchurch back on the entertainment map again.
“Feedback from bar and restaurant owners who’ve signed up has been unbelievably positive. For most, their business interruption insurance runs out in February. They can last a few more months after that but if they can’t find anywhere suitable, they’ll go out of business.
He describes Woods Mill as “beyond property development, it’s the creation of an urban community that signals the next step and new standard for the rebuilding of Christchurch.
“Dozens of medium to large sized corporates have already relocated in or near to Addington. We estimate there are more than 10,000 people living and working within a 1km radius so Woods Mill will help support commercial activity in the area.
“We’re actually establishing an entertainment hub which is not just for Woods Mill tenants but for the city of Christchurch. Addington has just been getting on with things since the quakes and by this time next year the whole area will be transformed into a vibrant new destination, quite distinct from the isolated city tenancies and suburban sprawl which is happening elsewhere.”
Parties involved in the redevelopment have had extensive experience in development of heritage buildings and other major projects:
* Richmond Paynter – Project Director, 30 years development and construction * Shaun Johnston – banking, finance and construction
* Tobin Smith /Co Lab Architecture * Holmes Consulting Group Structural Engineering * Powell Fenwick Consultants Fire Services Engineering * Urbis Planning and Engineering * Harcourts Grenadier Property leasing