The Grand Unveiling of Ravenswood's Premier Retail Development

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Unveiled in 2023 amidst much anticipation, Ravenswood Central Retail Park in North Canterbury stands as a beacon of modern retail development. This grand opening heralds a new era of commerce, seamlessly integrating cutting-edge facilities with the heart of the community.

On September 2, 2023, the Ravenswood Central Retail development was unveiled to the public. Pleasant weather made the event even more enjoyable, with clear blue skies and sunshine tempting locals to leave their homes. Mr. Whippy's ice cream truck was a popular attraction on-site, drawing a long queue of eager customers, from smiling teenagers to parents pushing strollers.

Mayor Dan Gordon of the Waimakariri District presided over the opening ceremony, extending a warm welcome to everyone in attendance and cutting the ribbon and cake. Addressing the attentive crowd, Gordon shared his thoughts, "From the mountains to the sea and everything in between, this is a really fantastic and diverse district. For all the residents of Ravenswood, I hope you enjoy this new key activity centre in our district. You are certainly spoilt for choice here, and I know you will support these fantastic new ventures."

Mayor Gordon of Waimakariri District and Ravenswood property developer Paul Croft officiate the ribbon cutting

What's New: Ravenswood's Dining Scene Heats Up with New Restaurants

In recent years, North Canterbury has witnessed a remarkable transformation, marked by significant retail development and infrastructure improvements. The development of Ravenswood Central Retail Park has breathed new life into the community, offering a diverse range of shopping and dining experiences.

The freshly launched commercial development boasts an extensive selection of delectable dining options to cater to all tastes. To commemorate the opening, each new hospitality venue operated a designated stall filled with mouth-watering delicacies to satisfy even the most voracious appetites.

King of Spices Indian restaurant supplied steaming samosas, while further down, Thai Station's crispy dumplings sold out quickly. Meanwhile, Joe's Garage served up fragrant lattes and hearty meals. With plans underway to build a Lone Star as well as a new sushi eatery and Chinese dining venue, this new centre will indeed become a hot attraction in North Canterbury.

Alongside these commercial developments, the availability of residential sections has attracted new residents to the area. This growth isn't just about bricks and mortar; it's also about job creation. The collaboration between visionary property developers and local authorities has played a pivotal role in shaping this thriving landscape.

King of Spices restaurant offers authentic Indian cuisine to locals at the grand opening of Ravenswood Central Retail Park

Ravenswood's Evolution: How Infrastructure and Community Come Together

Ravenswood's popularity has soared, thanks in part to the completion of the Western Belfast Bypass highway in 2017 and the Christchurch Northern Corridor motorway in 2020. These infrastructure improvements significantly reduced travel time to and from Christchurch, resulting in increased demand for sections in Ravenswood.

In 2018, the first residential sections were titled, and the first residents, Mathew and Jodi Firm, moved into their newly completed home. The couple had relocated from Hamilton to be closer to their whānau, who had also purchased land in Ravenswood.

In the same year, the first commercial building, a BP Connect & Wild Bean Cafe, was unveiled, and the opening of McDonald's followed hot on its heels. New World opened its doors in 2021, providing much-needed convenience for locals who had previously had to travel for groceries.

Paul Croft, CEO of Ravenswood Developments, showcases the process behind the development of Ravenswood Central Retail Park.

Economic Boost: How Ravenswood Central is Creating Jobs and Opportunities

The Waimakariri district has a population of around 64,340 people and is one of the fastest-growing areas in New Zealand. Mayor Gordon announced that the Waimakiriri council expects the commercial development in Ravenswood Central to create over a thousand jobs, significantly boosting the local economy.

"Importantly, for the likes of Harvey Norman and these other retailers, there is less need for people to travel over the Waimakariri bridge and more desire for the people from the city to come and experience all that there is to offer in the Waimakiriri," Gordon emphasised.

Paul Croft and Mayor Gordon meet with owners of hospitality venues at Ravenswood Central Retail Park.

From Vision to Reality: The Journey Behind Ravenswood Central Retail Park

The grand opening of Ravenswood Central Retail Park in North Canterbury marks a pivotal moment in the region's history. This modern retail development has seamlessly blended cutting-edge facilities with the heart of the community, promising a brighter future for the residents and visitors alike.

Paul Croft, the CEO of Ravenswood Developments, expressed his delight with the opening of Ravenswood Central Retail Park, stating that it is only the beginning of a major commercial development planned for the area.

For him, this opening marks a significant milestone, as it has taken nine years to come to fruition. Even though the local council approved subdivision rezoning in 2010, the Christchurch earthquakes caused a three-year setback due to aftershocks and the requirement to investigate ground conditions post-earthquake.

Finally, in 2022, the property developer contracted Corcon to build Ravenswood Central Retail Park, with Shaun Johnston as senior project manager for the commercial construction project. According to Croft, Johnston has been fantastic to work with, always finding solutions and going above and beyond to make things happen.

Shaun himself agrees that it's important to take a moment to celebrate what's been achieved. He feels that it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work and forget how far we've come. "It's important to pause, take a deep breath, and reflect on the valuable progress we've made," he says.

Corcon director Shaun Johnston and Ravenswood commercial development manager Jerome O'Sullivan take a moment to celebrate their achievement.

Dreams, Commerce, and Community Converge in Ravenswood

Ravenswood is more than just a shopping and dining destination. It's a symbol of growth, opportunity, and a promising future. It's a place where dreams of homeownership come to life, thanks to available residential sections and the improved accessibility brought about by significant infrastructure improvements. It is also a thriving business hub, contributing to job creation and the overall growth of the local economy. As it continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly remain a vibrant hub for dining and commerce in North Canterbury.

Whether you're a resident, a visitor, or a future investor, Ravenswood welcomes you to be a part of its exciting journey. Together, we can look forward to a future filled with prosperity and endless possibilities for this remarkable development and the community it serves.

Local community members queue for ice cream from Mr. Whippy at the Ravenswood Central Retail Park opening day.

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