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Forsyth Barr to become a hotel

Christchurch's tallest office tower has been sold and will become a major hotel.

The damaged tower, Forsyth Barr House overlooking Victoria Square, has been sold in as-is condition.

Details of the buyer and price remain confidential. The Press has been told the buyer is a local property developer who will gut the existing structure and reconstruct it for an international hotel chain.

Peter Rae, spokesman for the consortium of 25 previous owners, confirmed the sale had been finalised. He did not wish to comment except to say it had been ''a long, drawn-out process''.

The consortium put the 17-storey, 70-metre high tower up for sale last year after banking an insurance payout for the damage. Their money has already gone north, with members of the group revealed this week as the buyers of a $45.75 million Auckland shopping mall.

The Christchurch Central Development Unit's (CCDU) had earmarked the Forsyth Barr site for the Performing Arts Precinct, but decided not to acquire it after insurers chose not to write off the building. The property has a rating valuation of just over $30 million, based on repaired value, with $3m of this land value.

As of yesterday the Christchurch City Council had not received any resource consent applications for the property.

A hotel industry source said the developer who has bought Forsyth Bar House had invited several hotel management companies to take a look at it. Real estate sources have said a 200-room, 4.5 or 5 star hotel could be created from the tower.

The building was designed by Warren and Mahoney and built as Robert Jones House in 1989.

It made international news when its stairway collapsed in the February 2011 earthquake, and office workers were photographed abseiling out of broken windows to safety.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/10358115/Forsyth-Barr-to-become-a-hotel
 

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When I saw this photo I thought they were going to convert the old Rydges hotel on Oxford tce into the new Crowne Plaza as the story does not mention anything about the Forsyth Barr House:



IHG Crowne’s Christchurch

The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will renew its presence in Christchurch in 2015, signing an management agreement to develop a 200-room Crowne Plaza hotel in the city, making it the group’s sixth property in the country.

The Crowne Plaza Christchurch, the third Crowne Plaza in New Zealand, will be one of the tallest buildings in the city and located in its CBD, across from the new build Christchurch Convention Centre, slated to open in 2017.

The 195-guest room hotel will feature 5 suites, function spaces and a variety of food and beverage options throughout the property to cater to both business and leisure travellers.

“Tourism is one of the 20 high priority projects outlined in the Economic Recovery Programme for Greater Christchurch, and we are proud to be part of the city’s economic revival," IHG head of development Australasia, Matthew Tripolone said.

"When the new Crowne Plaza Christchurch opens its doors in 2015, IHG will once again have a presence in every major market in New Zealand, and we are confident of our long-term growth in the region."

The former Crowne Plaza hotel in a different location in Christchurch was forced to be demolished in 2012 after suffering severe damage in the 2011 Chirstchurch earthquake.

http://www.travelweekly.com.au/news...ail&utm_term=0_fe913f1856-0d2ab8fb39-58159401

So a bit misleading article and they also say it be open in 2015 while the stuff article says 2016!
 

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Just got to get Rydges and Millenium fixed up as well. Four years on and still no agreement with repairs for the latter one not underway it must be under- insured dispute so as not enough payout to cover all the cost of the repairs they should just bite the bullet and finance the repairs and get their hotels back open to create some income off their properties again.
 

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Work is now underway converting the hotel. The builder/developer Lanyon & Le Compte has bought other as is where is buildings and restored them if only other firms were willing to do the same our city may not have so many holes to fill as it does today. Not much can be seen from the outside just the site fence.
 

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As you are all probably thinking - this is going to be an awesome hotel when completed. With superb north-west views out over the city toward the alps with nothing obstructing the vista. So pleased those involved had the vision to make this happen instead of opting for the easy option of taking the cash and donating the building to the cheap spectacle of a crowd pleasing implosion...
I wanna book a nite there NOW! - on the top floor with bubbles!!!:banana:
I went up to the top on the open day back in 89. Then it was called Robert Jones House someone wrote on the dusty window 'Nice View Bob' I always remember that for some reason. Yes it is very lucky it has been saved from the wrecking ball as many residents of the city wanted it gone. So glad the owner not give in to peer pressure.
 

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One of the best towers that got scrapped in the 80's was called 'The Octagon' it had 16 floors all with 8 sides on a 2 level square podium was to go up on Oxford tce by Cashel mall with alternating black and red 'Canterbury colours' with mirror glass was a very sleek design was to be built by Bert Govan but alas it not go ahead maybe too late market had gone for office space only a 2 floor project got built on the site in the end.
I wish they could do something like that today but cost would be prohibitive and too high as well. Developers were more daring in those days willing to put up a landmark not like the small hum drum projects we get on offer today.
 

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I expect that the opening date is not yet known as they still working on the plans of the fit out for the building. It could be finished early or late depends upon how it goes. So could be late 2016 early 2017 time frame for the grand opening. Let's hope they get stuck into the big work soon.
 

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I see that the former Copthorne Hotel site over the road from this building is now on the market with a big For sale sign now up. Perhaps Philip Carter needs the money from the land to go towards his Crossing development.
 

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Progress is coming along well:

Next door, Christchurch's tallest office tower is being repaired and transformed into a replacement for the old Crowne Plaza hotel, to open at the end of 2016.

Local investors and developers MC Christchurch Holdings bought Forsyth Barr house in 2014 for $8m.

Spokesman Shane Le Compte says the tower - level four to 17 - is almost fully repaired and new stairs will go into the building next week.

The lower podium, on the south side of the building, which used to be a car park, will be demolished and replaced with a concrete steel structure housing the hotel's kitchen and back offices.

From the outside, the tower will not change much, he says.

Le Compte says he'd like to see construction begin on the convention centre site.

"The delays are certainly an issue but we're moving ahead."

The owners have been in discussions with Cera and the council about the site, but "we don't get clear answers from anyone".

The lack of progress on the anchor project will affect the hotel, but "there's still a lack of accommodation" in the area, he says.

The tower's fate was initially uncertain as it was on land earmarked for the performing arts precinct but the designation was lifted early this year, meaning the owners can go ahead with restoration plans.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/722...ndoned-buildings-at-the-heart-of-christchurch
 
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