'A LOT OF DUST BOWL SITES'
Central city developers listed a variety of reasons - including high costs and the underlying state of the rebuild - as to why residential development in central Christchurch hadn't prospered yet.
High construction and land costs were identified as "major barriers" in a research report prepared by real estate agency JLL in 2018.
"The development process is proving difficult and expensive, feasibility is tight and margins are low when compared to non-CBD projects and other locations in New Zealand," the report said.
DGM Group Principal Grant MacKinnon, who's developed apartments in central Christchurch since 1999, said alongside cost, the state of the rebuild was a deterrent for homebuyers.
'SOCIETY FUNCTIONS BETTER'
Central city developers agreed 20,000 residents was an achievable target but said the council needs to continue expanding its work in order to reach the goal.
Three central city developers currently building in the city - Grant MacKinnon, Matthew Horncastle, and Mike Sullivan - collectively agreed the council's development contributions rebate scheme was a great start for attracting homebuyers and developers to the city.
Under this scheme, developers don't pay a development contribution to the city council, which would normally be used to fund infrastructure.
Horncastle estimated this cost to be about $30,000 dollars per house, "and that being waved makes a serious difference," he said.