Before the 2010 earthquakes, Cathedral Square was the hub of Christchurch.
Now, an ambitious crowd-funded project is set to make the Square once again a place for the people.
Christchurch businessman Darin Rainbird has launched a PledgeMe campaign to support his plan to convert the restored 140-year-old former Chief Post Office in Cathedral Square, (estd. 1879) into ‘The Grand’ – a world-class destination of food and entertainment, complete with artisan French bakery, visitor information centre and one of New Zealand’s largest outdoor plazas.
Rainbird says that from the outset the underlying philosophy has been to create a space where people can meet, greet, socialise, play, and enjoy.
“Cathedral Square has always been a focal point for Christchurch. There are some exciting developments that have brought more people back into the CBD, but there’s very little linkage between them.
“So being right in the center, we feel that The Grand can bring together the likes of the new Regent Street Precinct, The Terrace, The Crossing, and the soon to be completed Cathedral and be that vibrant central space for the people,” he says.
“A key part of the project has been the incredible support from the community,” says Rainbird.
The crowdfunding option will give everyone the opportunity to participate if they wish to. In addition, contractors and suppliers will be able to take equity shares in lieu of their normal margins.
It’s been an exhausting but exciting development for Rainbird and his team, with Covid-delays impacting progress, but he says they’re now ready to go live with their PledgeMe crowdfunding offer on Thursday, 23rd September.
“We anticipate we will be welcoming the people of Christchurch, and the entire nation into The Grand in February 2022.”
Visit thegrand.co.nz for more information.