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Central-city 'South Town' experiencing major revitalisation

17 October 2017

A rise of artisan Christchurch businesses are establishing and flourishing in a "gritty and intriguing" area of Christchurch, which is undergoing a major revitalisation.

Bordered by Madras St, Moorhouse Ave, Hagley Ave and Tuam St, the city's so-called 'South Town' features a strong concentration of authentic existing buildings that are being repurposed into unique, high-value offerings for fine grain businesses needing creative spaces to work from.

The hub of South Town is Welles Street – a street with a colourful history that has, post-2011, emerged as a go to for those looking for an authentic environment.

Supreme Supreme, The Bootleg BBQ Co and Welles Street bar are all post-earthquake businesses adding character to the street.

They are soon to be joined by The Welder, which will host a mix of artisan retail, hospitality and health and wellbeing businesses.

Nearby, Fletchers are close to finishing Atlas Quarter – with some 100-plus apartments and town houses about to come to the market.

The In Situ Photo Project has also just moved into The Welder for the summer along with a group of working artists and artisans.

The Welder is being developed by Box 112, which is behind other South Town projects such as Supreme Supreme and Welles Street bar.

It also developed the building which houses The Anchorage on Walker St and Sugarloaf Lane.

James Stringer, of Box 112, says the special mix of spaces and materials in The Welder building make them "an extremely appealing addition to the fabric of South Town".

They were originally built for local artisan businesses dating back as far as 1880.

"South Town is an area of the city that has always had more grit and intrigue to it. We’d like to see businesses here that care for the people of Christchurch and want to improve the standard for those visiting or living in the area," Stringer says.

"It’s shaping up to be a real neighbourhood and, with a mix of residential and commercial activities, it’s going to be a vibrant and rewarding place to be.”

Stringer says Box 112’s vision is to make Christchurch the most livable city on earth by creating authentic, one-off spaces that enhance businesses and their environment.

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