SkyscraperCity Forum banner

CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL | COLOMBO AND ARMAGH ST CNR | 17L | 70 Metres | Refurbishment Completed

38337 Views 165 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Royen
"international and local interests are considering turning Christchurch's badly damaged former Forsyth Barr building into a hotel, as the city gears up for next year's Cricket World Cup.

Colliers International says it has had interest from both overseas and local players in converting the damaged office block into a 200-room, 4.5 to 5-star hotel."


Fingers crossed the Forsyth Barr is about to get a lease of new life!
  • Like
Reactions: Davee
1 - 14 of 14 Posts looks like they have changed it to 2016 in The Press article. It did say "It will open next year." in the original article, now it has changed to "It will open in 2016."

I'm really happy Crown Plaza is going in the Forsyth Barr building, another hotel coming back into the CBD is always a positive sign. And with the refit of Hotel So (All Seasons) on Cashel street, we will see a rather large increase in hotel rooms over the next 2 years especially.
Designworks secures Crowne Plaza Christchurch Spatial Design

April 14, 2015: After a competitive pitch, Designworks (part of STW Group) has been appointed to the largest interior design hotel project currently in New Zealand and a landmark project for Christchurch. The former Forsyth Barr building will be transformed in the next 18 months into Crowne Plaza Christchurch – a 200 room hotel, with bars and restaurants.

Partnering with developer MC Christchurch Holdings, Designworks will envisage and oversee all aspects of Spatial Design for the new hotel.

Michael Prentice, Designworks Christchurch Managing Director cites Designworks’ unique innovative approach to full customer experience design as coming together to secure this exciting project.

“Designworks offered MC Christchurch an approach that will see us integrate design thinking to deliver a unique experience for locals and guests to the hotel,” he explained.

Clark Pritchard Designworks Group Head of Spatial Design says: “Our approach brings interiors, technology, service, innovation and brand design together for our clients. The project is another exciting opportunity for us to bring the unique set of skills within Designworks together on one project.”

A spokesperson for MC Christchurch Holdings says that the project is an important one for Christchurch and Designworks demonstrated passion for the rebuild and an ongoing commitment to Christchurch.

“We’re looking forward to partnering with Michael, Clark and team to bring Crowne Plaza Christchurch to life. They brought a very fresh and unexpected approach that we saw true value in and we’re really excited about. They put together a project team with unique skills from across their offices in New Zealand specifically to meet the needs of our brief – no one else could offer that.”

Work on the project is underway with the hotel set to open in 2017.

Designworks, the region’s leading strategic design and customer experience practice with more than 140 staff in six locations across New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia, is part of the STW Group, Australasia’s leading marketing content and communications group.

Source: Scoop Business


Not really sure when this hotel will open now...
  • Like
Reactions: Adam23
I agree and hopefully this will mean a good re-clad as well, but why then put up a sign 'Opening 2016' a few months ago?
18 months sounds about right, 2016 did seem like a long shot with the amount of work this building will need.

Update on progress from today. Looks like demo has started inside. Seems a bit slow at this stage, so hopefully it will ramp up soon.

  • Like
Reactions: ethanjosiah
High-flying stairway takes shape inside new Crowne Plaza hotel

New stairs going into Christchurch's new Crowne Plaza Hotel signal a new beginning for the building.

As the Forsyth Barr building almost five years ago, the tower lost its staircases in the earthquake. Trapped office workers abseiled to safety.

The 17-storey building was later sold for $8 million in as-is condition to MC Christchurch Holdings, who, a year ago, signed up the Crowne Plaza chain to occupy it.

The new owners are now part-way through giving the tower a major refit.

Spokesman Shane Le Compte said 36 individual concrete stairways were being brought in by crane to form 18 levels of scissor stairs.

As well, rear parking ramps and car parking facilities were being removed from the building and the base podium altered, he said.

Eleven floors of guest rooms have been framed internally and repairs on the structure are about 85 per cent completed.

Le Compte said the project was going well and they hoped the new hotel would be finished by the end of next year.

As the project is mainly an interior repair and re-fit, the finished hotel will look similar to its office building days, except for a new facade at street level.

The new hotel will have 205 rooms plus a public cafe, restaurant and bar, day spa, and function rooms.

It is at the corner of Colombo St and Armagh St on Victoria Square, opposite where the old Crowne Plaza was demolished in 2012.

MC Christchurch Holdings has not disclosed how much the conversion would cost or the expected value of the finished building.

The Crowne Plaza brand is part of the global InterContinental Hotel Group. It will be the third Crowne Plaza in New Zealand for the chain, alongside those in Auckland and Queenstown.

Source: The Press
  • Like
Reactions: timmah
Pretty sure they are rebuilding that 3 level part with hotel amenities on the ground floor with parking above...but correct me if I'm wrong.
I've always wondered this but if the old parking deck is being demolished so amenities can be built then where are guests going to park?
Update 21/01/2016

Work is continuing inside, I suspect the majority of the work being taken out is out of sight but I really hope they put new windows in and clean the entire exterior cladding because its looking preeeetttyy dirty. And they also need to take down the old signage - Emirates and Forsyth Barr are still visible. :lol:

Crowne Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr

Crowne Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr

Crowne Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr

Crowne Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr

Crowne Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr

Crowne Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr

Crowne Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr
Update 1/10/2016

New windows going in on the southern side and finally the old signage is being removed and new ones presumably being put up at the top of the tower:

Crown Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr

Crown Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr

Crown Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr

Crown Plaza Hotel by Royen Photography, on Flickr
A Crown Plaza Christchurch Facebook page was created, showing the new signage and some classy new interior renders. Opening is May 2017:

Superior Guest Room - one of 204 guest rooms in the hotel with spectacular views of the city and mountains in the background.

Lobby & Reception area

Lobby with view to Cafe and staircase to 1st floor restaurant

All Day Dining Restaurant located on the hotel's 1st floor

Hotel Ground Floor Cafe offering great New Zealand coffee and bites to go

Crowne Plaza Christchurch
The latest mention of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel Christchurch is from this press release about the new Queenstown hotel from about 6 days ago:

Also is featured on the investors (Sarin Group) website:
Update 22/04/2017

Street frontage looking good:

Christchurch's new Crowne Plaza hotel to open this weekend after 'long haul'​

Christchurch's tourism scene is about to get a major boost with the opening of the new 204-room Crowne Plaza Hotel on Saturday. In a two-year multi-million dollar project, the 17-storey building's local owners have converted it from the earthquake-damaged Forsyth Barr office tower into city's biggest executive-style hotel. The hotel, opposite Victoria Square, began taking bookings in April and has sold 11,000 room nights for its first eight months. Another 500 rooms will be ready by next winter in other new hotels under way, including Distinction Christchurch in Cathedral Square and the Airport Novotel. Shane Le Compte, director of local company MC Holdings which owns the land, building, and business, said the conversion had been "a long haul". They were very excited to be almost ready to open their doors, he said. "It's been a huge mission. We'd love to see Cantabrians come and have a look and support us." The company bought the earthquake-damaged building in as-is condition for $8 million in 2014. It negotiated the removal of the building's government designation for purchase for the Performing Arts Precinct, and signed up international hotel chain IHG, which owns the Crowne Plaza brand, to manage the business. Le Compte said work to transform the building took five weeks longer than expected. The company has not disclosed how much the project has cost. Building a new hotel from scratch in the central city would not have been financially viable, he said. Bruce Garrett, chairman of the Tourism Industry Association's hotel section, said the opening would help put back some of the nearly 3000 hotel rooms lost in the Canterbury earthquakes. "Hopefully it will help attract back some businesses that have been avoiding the city," he said. "It will certainly give some of the tour operators that have been holding back from coming to Christchurch more options." Hotel bookings in the city were returning to their pre-earthquake seasonal pattern of quiet winters, and steady progress on the anchor projects and other attractions was needed to draw visitors to the city, he said. As well as boosting the city's bed supply, the Crowne Plaza opening will return the site to its original colonial use. From 1851, the corner housed the two-storey timber Golden Fleece Hotel. Sitting initially among flax and toi toi bushes, the hotel burned down in 1866 and was rebuilt on the same site. It reportedly became known locally as the Cold 'n Fleas hotel. The existing building on the site was built as the Robert Jones House office building for property magnate Bob Jones in the late 1980s, and is the only office tower surviving from that era. In the February 2011 earthquake, the building losts its stairs, forcing trapped office workers to abseil out of high windows. The hotel now has five new lifts and a new scissor staircase. On the ground floor it has a cafe called Mojo, a bar called Social Winebar, and a hotel lobby. Upstairs will be first-floor restaurant The Market Place, and function rooms and a gym. Rooms include suites and accessible rooms and are priced from $180 to $300 a night. The hotel will replace the city's first Crown Plaza on the other side of Victoria Square, which closed with earthquake damage in 2011 and was demolished.

The Press
I'm just speculating, but I took it to mean that because of the low demand for hotel nights during the winter months in Christchurch, it's currently not financially viable to build a hotel from scratch due to the immense investment required not really paying off with that few level of demand for many months of the year - not so much the high construction/land costs being too expensive. However, with the Convention Centre alone, the demand during winter will increase substantially. When this opens and more events come to Christchurch during winter months (with the stadium/arena), then building big hotels will be financially viable. Thats whats happening currently, with sites being snapped up for big hotels (e.g. Old Press site) with construction and opening being timed with when the Convention Centre opens.
With the high cost of land, construction and operating costs of a new builld hotel of this size are too expensive now. This would explain why other large projects have not got off the ground. Lucky that the Distinction is being repaired as well. Still no news on the old Noahs Hotel still stuck in insurance disputes.
^^ Wow! They spent some serious money :lol:
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.