Work on a major new commercial development in the Christchurch CBD has kicked off.
Property developer Antony Gough and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee today marked the start of work on the first stage of The Terrace.
The project, which is located on the banks of the River Avon, is the first private development to be built in the city's retail precinct.
The brainchild of Mr Gough, the development is being constructed in the same area previously known as The Strip.
Before the February 2011 earthquake, The Strip was home to numerous restaurants and bars.
The new project has an overall cost estimate of $140 million.
"Cities usually evolve over a long period of time," said Mr Gough.
"Christchurch will be developed within a tightly-compressed timeframe so it is critical that The Terrace sets a benchmark of quality, style and excitement for the city and its people.
"The Terrace will combine the best of global urban design with the unique features of Christchuch to deliver a village development that will be a landmark in the city for the next 100 years."
Bounded by Oxford Terrace, Cashel Mall and Hereford Street, the development will include laneways, courtyards and roofed terraces.
Designers say the city of Melbourne provided some of the inspiration for the style of the project.
Stage One of the development includes three separate buildings and is scheduled to open in late 2014.
Stage Two with two further buildings will not start till early next year and when finished will complete the "courtyard" effect of the whole development.
Meanwhile, the iconic Heritage Hotel in Cathedral Square will open later this afternoon.