7 Mar 2017

Spark to build new Christchurch HQ in Cathedral Square

3:08 pm on 7 March 2017

Another big business has given Christchurch's Cathedral Square a vote of confidence, despite uncertainty around the fate of the quake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral.

An artist's impression of the planned Spark building in Christchurch's Cathedral Square.

An artist's impression of the planned Spark building in Christchurch's Cathedral Square. Photo: Supplied

Spark today announced it had signed a contract as the anchor tenant in a purpose-built four-level facility in the square, which would house 450 of its staff.

Chief executive Simon Moutter said construction would start later this year and the building would be ready to occupy by July 2019.

The square was one of the parts of the city hardest-hit by the devastating 2011 earthquake, but - unlike other areas - has remained largely untouched by developers.

Legal wrangling over the future of the cathedral and responsibility for the removal of an asbestos-laden office block has put developers off an area once considered prime real estate.

But a start on the construction of the nearby anchor projects seems to have renewed confidence in the area, with work on a series of hotels in the square now under way.

Mr Moutter said the company's decision highlighted its commitment to rejuvenating Christchurch's central business district.

"Spark has a long history in Christchurch, and we are excited to play our part in the CBD regeneration.

"We are now ready to honour a commitment we made to get back into the CBD when the timing was right to move," he said.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs