‘The Grand’: crowdfunding begins for old Cathedral Square post office
Crowdfunding for an ambitious visitor center in iconic Christchurch Cathedral Square is about to begin.
Thing got a glimpse of the former heritage listed post office building in July, which is slated to become a multi-purpose reception space.
The space includes a restaurant, cafe and bars, i-Site tourist information center, artisan bakery, pastry shop, florist and gift shop, as well as a food tasting experience from the South Island promoting local wine, beer, cheese and meat.
Originally scheduled to open in December, complications from Covid-19 have delayed the proposed opening until February.
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Christchurch businessman Darin Rainbird’s PledgeMe campaign to convert the 140-year-old building into a “world-class” food and entertainment destination will launch on Thursday.
Cathedral Square has always been the heart of Christchurch, and the new project would connect the city’s new attractions (The Terrace, The Crossing and New Regent St) with the square, Rainbird said.
“We decided this was a space for Canterbury, so we wanted it to be owned by the people of Canterbury.
“The crowdfunding option allows us to give everyone the opportunity to participate if they wish. “
The updated plan of the project includes three connected spaces on the ground floor – a large bakery, a gathering area with a restaurant / grocery store, a bar and a restaurant.
The hospitality offer will spread to “one of the biggest squares in New Zealand”.
The top floor of the Grand will be used to showcase local products with tasting of local wines, cheeses and meats, and will host a pastry school.
A more “entertainment-oriented” restaurant would feature live music, comedy and opera, and have flexibility for private functions and events.
There would also be an art gallery on the top floor of the building, according to plans.
Most of the damage to the building during the Canterbury earthquakes occurred in the area of the clock tower, which will be completely renovated. The 750 kilo bell has been detached and is being repaired.
The high ceilings of the interior and the traditional heritage windows, doors and facades will be preserved.
The work is being carried out thanks to a heritage grant of $ 900,000 from the city council and includes the replacement of the roof and the repair of the clock tower and the interior and exterior walls.
The crowdfunding campaign aims to raise a minimum of $ 800,000 and a maximum of $ 2 million.
Those who wish to contribute should visit ‘The Grand’ on social media or its website.