Attracting business to south west Christchurch

1:35 PM Tuesday September 13, 2016 Paul Charman

The new town centre at Wigram Skies is seeking retailers such as florists, beauty therapists, dentists and more

Many New Zealanders know the former Wigram Airforce Base — just south west of Christchurch — has now become a modern community of almost 2000 homes.

The bicycle-friendly, well landscaped suburb of “Wigram Skies” — a huge mixed-use development replete with even its own town centre — was delivered at an extraordinary pace in the aftermath of the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.

Developers Ngāi Tahu Property seemingly spared no expense to incorporate the most outstanding design values, as well as latest town planning concepts from around the world.

And despite extensive planted areas of this astonishing new suburb being far from mature, results already speak for themselves.

“Yes, many people know Wigram Skies exists as a residential area, but that opportunities remain to provide goods and services to the new community is far less well known,” says Ngāi Tahu Property Development Manager Alan Grove.

‘The Landing,’ the attractive town centre for Wigram Skies, has already attracted key retail operations which are well supported by local residents. It is also visited by workers from the newly created 25-hectare Wigram Business Park nearby, and people driving in from further afield,” says Grove.

“That said, thirty per cent of the retail space remains available, so there’s a real opportunity to start a new business in a strategic growth area of our third largest city.

“We’re targeting a variety of retail operators, including florists, beauty stores, children’s clothing stores and general retail.

“There’s also a need for a dentist, real estate operators and financial institutions — a real chance for these operators to get involved in this thriving community.

“Right now, we’re well served by some excellent restaurants and have sufficient eateries.”

Grove says Wigram Skies occupies a unique niche in Christchurch.

“South-west Christchurch has long been an identified growth corridor for the city; Wigram Skies provided the impetus for the development of this region in the post-earthquake era,” he says.

“We have yet to see fully what it will become”.

The developers have invested heavily in beautifully landscaped public spaces, providing highly desired recreational areas for residents and the wider community. Come and have a drive around these neighbourhoods, or better yet a bicycle ride around them.

Streets in the new suburb boast safe and convenient access for both pedestrians and cyclists, plus an array of walking and cycling tracks through an extensive network of storm water basins.

It’s a family friendly community, with its own medical centre, pre-school, a retirement village now under construction and land set aside for a primary school (due for completion in 2018).

Reminders of the areas unique aviation history abound too, recalled in street names and at well-marked historic sites — such as the spot where Kingsford-Smith landed after the first trans-Tasman flight.

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