New cathedral and hotel for Christchurch

North of the Square.
North of the Square. Photo credit: Supplied

Christchurch's CBD is about to become home to a new Catholic Cathedral and a five-star hotel. 

The $500 million development, known as 'North of The Square', will cover two large blocks of land that have been empty since 2011. 

A new school and 600-space parking building will also be constructed. The hotel is expected to be completed by 2023, and the cathedral by 2025 - 14 years after the quake.

It's being described as the final piece of the jigsaw, connecting Avon River to both Cathedral Square and a performing arts precinct. 

"It is my desire for the cathedral to be in the heart of the city, where our Catholic community can visit on a daily basis to pray and reflect and for the church to be able to play a part in re-energising the life of the city," said Bishop Paul Martin.

"The new cathedral will be a cornerstone of the recently announced new five-parish structure for the city and will see the amalgamation of the existing Mairehau and St Mary's Pro-Cathedral parishes into this central city site."

The heritage category 1 Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was severely damaged during the Christchurch earthquakes, the bishop deeming it too expensive to restore.

North of the Square.
North of the Square. Photo credit: Supplied

The cathedral's estimated cost is $85 million and the school $11 million.

"With the late Bishop Barry Jones setting aside $45 million from our earthquake insurance claim for a cathedral, there is a sizeable gap which will be met by both fundraising and the sale of excess property and assets," said Martin.

"In the new year we will be initiating a fundraising campaign where we are looking to raise at least $30 million and there will also be a stocktake of our property assets to see if we have any surplus to requirements. The site of the cathedral on Barbadoes St is a potential property sale that springs to mind."

Planning for the project is underway.