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Developer hopes housing complex will bring the heart of New Brighton back

Victoria Stevens
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Planning of the housing development  New Brighton Residents Association

Work is under way for a new Seaview housing development in New Brighton.

More than 65 homes will be built on the old site of Central New Brighton School to help entice people back over to the east.  

A property developer is buying the former school land and will use it for the new housing complex.

Central New Brighton School merged with North New Brighton and Freeville Schools to form Rawhiti School as part of the post-earthquake review in 2015.

The residential units will be built in separate phases with architectures that reflect the local environment and incorporate a people-friendly design.

Christchurch developer Grant McKinnon is one of the developers selected to lead the build, and said he knows the area and has strong ties to it.

“We’re keen to get started and already have design under way. We expect the build to start in spring – we can’t wait.”

McKinnon said he was excited about the Seaview developments and said building houses beside the beach would add another dimension to New Brighton’s housing market.

The new developments are launching the next phase of the New Brighton revitalization project which will come after the new He Puna Taimoana hot pools and playground.

ChristchurchNZ general manager Cath Carter said to have a developer on board that had plans that fit so well with the site and community was great. 

Carter said people were key to the revitalisation of the seaside suburb and hoped new public attractions would bring more visitors to the east.

“We know this is a key location in New Brighton and we’ve been working closely with current tenants about its future. We’re pleased to be able to confirm the next steps on what is set to be a great development that will bring people to the heart of the suburb.”

ChristchurchNZ works alongside existing tenants of the old school, which has been used by various community groups.

Some locals think the developments are a waste of time and won’t help any visitors migrate towards the east side.

One said she thinks thought it was a terrible idea.

“I hope it fails miserably, I like it just the way it is now thank you." 

On a Facebook post, Paulette Colleen Haenga said it was about time New Brighton got more attention as she would love to see it thrive again.

“Aw awesome, New Brighton needed a positive change for the community, what a great idea by the developer and co.”

Another resident said it was a good idea to build houses but making them overly expensive was not the way to go.

"It's frustrating to see a part of town where things are a bit cheaper being made more expensive, being priced out of somewhere you've lived your entire life is heartbreaking."

McKinnon said the final piece of the New Brighton revitalisation project was for local landowners to upgrade their privately-owned buildings and bring excitement back to the neighbourhood.