Construction work has begun on a $140 million redevelopment of the entertainment area formerly known as The Strip in central Christchurch.
The project has been renamed The Terrace and its developer, Anthony Gough, hopes it will become a hub for retail, hospitality, office space and car parking.
Mr Gough says laneways, courtyards and roofed terraces will connect eight buildings and a central courtyard.
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee turned the first sod on Friday on the site which overlooks the Avon River.
The first three buildings are scheduled to open late next year.