Christchurch's beloved New Regent Street is reclaiming its place as a popular shopping and visitor destination. Businesses are open and the trams are running.
There's a buzz building about New Regent Street following the return of businesses, people and now the trams.
It was the first street in the central city to have infrastructure repair work that resulted from earthquake damage fully completed and its official opening(external link) in April 2013 had a carnival atmosphere with Latin American dancing and performance.
The Council funded many aspects of landscaping and streetscape works and worked closely with owners/tenants on consenting issues. A number of owners received Council Heritage Incentive Grants(external link) to assist with repairs.
The street is significant as the only commercial street in New Zealand to have been designed as a coherent whole and is one of the best examples of Spanish Mission style architecture in New Zealand. A plaque notes the role of Arthur Stacey(external link) in the street's development.
New Regent Street's architectural style and continuous facade give it high public recognition and landmark significance(external link) and it was described at its 1932 opening by Mayor DG Sullivan as "the most beautiful street in New Zealand".
The buildings are listed on the Christchurch City Plan as Group 2 heritage buildings and are registered as a historic area and as a Category 1 building with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust(external link).
The New Regent Street businesses(external link) are working together to promote New Regent Street as a boutique shopping, entertainment and heritage destination for locals and tourists under the tagline Indulge Yourself.
In November, New Regent Street welcomed back the trams. They will initially run from New Regent Street through Cathedral Junction to Cathedral Square and along Worcester Boulevard until the rest of the route is repaired.