7 Jul 2013

First restored building in Arts Centre opens

8:19 pm on 7 July 2013

The first restored building at Christchurch's quake-damaged Arts Centre has reopened on Sunday and is already fully tenanted.

The former Canterbury University registry office was built in 1916 but was forced to close for the past two-and-a-half years while it underwent earthquake repairs.

The centre's chief executive Andre Lovatt says the converted office spaces in the building had to be tenanted through a public process, because of high demand.

He says the heritage element of the building is its biggest drawcard.

The Arts Centre, made up of 23 gothic revival style heritage buildings, suffered extensive damage in the earthquakes and is undergoing a $290 million restoration programme.

A wall of the Registry building collapsed in the 22 February 2011 earthquake, and it was subsequently closed for repairs. Restoration has been completed at a cost of $3 million.

The Arts Centre complex is expected to remain closed for seven years as repairs continue.