The Riverside Market opened yesterday (here) so I popped in to have a look. I was impressed – it is a sleek building with some interesting design, reused materials, all sorts of mongers selling the food that you can’t buy at Pac’n’Save (locally produced cheeses, honey, bread, preserved meat, vegetables, fruit etc.), and plenty of ready-to-eat food as well. The place was absolutely humming.
The only downside was that I couldn’t find anywhere to park my bike outside. I’m not sure if the bike parking is still on the way maybe? There were others too who obviously couldn’t find it, with bikes tied to all sorts of random objects outside.
Seperate but related, I saw this article on Stuff the other day titled “Suburban Offices Sit Empty as City Centre Fills Up“. After the initial influx of large organisations into offices in the central city, there is now a second wave of smaller organisations shifting back in.
Hamish Stallworthy, Christchurch director for real estate firm JLL said:
“We’re seeing more and more businesses coming into town, vacancies in the central city are dropping and dropping.”
Brynn Burrows, director of commercial leasing for Colliers in Christchurch, said:
“While the central city costs more, many businesses needed to be there to retain good staff, and to network with other organisations.”
For all it’s faults, clearly the city centre is doing something right, and is an attractive place to be for large and small businesses.
Whilst the rebuild is taking longer than we all thought it was going to take, I do get really excited every time I see the city take one of these little steps forward. May there be many more to come!