The opening of the EPIC Centre in Christchurch
Tech companies return to heart of Christchurch
Our building fit-out is progressing well
Tenants getting ready to move
After a very intense build and fitout phase the first tenants are set to start moving in this week, with the remaining tenants following them over the next fortnight. Everyone is looking forward to getting themselves established in this new shared office environment.
CCDU Blueprint includes Innovation Precinct
The long awaited CCDU Blueprint has been released which includes a substantial land allocation for an Innovation Precinct, which incorporates the current EPIC Sanctuary site. This is fantastic news for the longer term, phase 2 EPIC Sigma planning is now well underway, watch this space.
Build progress July 13th
Some good progress since the last update, with good weather conditions helping. The second half of the structure should be erected in the coming week. Roof should be completed in the coming week in time for our roof party.
EPIC Build Update & Photos
The build progress is going well, despite cold and windy weather. Half of the structure is erected and 2nd floor structure and floor is in place. Work has begun on the putting the roof in place on the single storey side, but windy conditions are stalling this at the moment. The rest of the wood arrives next week so the remaining structure will be erected over the next fortnight.
We are on target for our roof party in late July!
Epic Sanctuary build is progressing well
The frames are going up and it is starting to feel real. Currently about one-third of frames erected. On target for completion in September.
EPIC Sanctuary has been Launched
Following a 12 month journey the EPIC team is very pleased to annouce that the project has been formally approved and was officially launched by Stephen Joyce Minister of Economic Development, NZTE and MSI – along with Mayor Bob Parker and BNZ. A great turn out by all of our supporters and tenants. This project has taken longer than anticipated with many hurdles to overcome.
The EPIC co-leaders Colin Andersen and Wil McLellan would like to specifcially recognise the Advisory Group that helped make it possible. The Timbercore build process starts immediately and we are aiming for a late August completion all going well.
EPIC technology hub in Christchurch
EPIC Sanctuary gets a Green Light
Following 9 months of intensive activity by many parties, we are very pleased to announce that the EPIC Campus has been given a provisional green light. We are expecting the build process to start during February 2012 and the campus go live in June 2012.
This has only been made possible with following key organisations swinging behind the project:
- Christchurch City Council providing a 5 year rent free lease for the land
- Ministry of Science & Innovation and NZ Trade & Enterprise each providing $750k base funding to the project
- BNZ providing the finance & insurance for the project and taking campus naming rights
The EPIC team is very grateful to the organisations that have provided professional services to the project many at no cost, these include:
Duncan Cotterill – legal advice
Murray & Co. – financial arrangers
Warren & Mahoney – architectural advice
Octa – Construction project management
Timbercore – build contractor
Colliers International – property management advise
Canterbury Development Corporation – economic analysis & project audit
Cera – engaging the right parties and smoothing the path
Deloitte – governnace advice
PWC – tax advice
Sanctuary Progress Update Nov 6th 2011
Just a quick progress update as I am sure some of you are wondering where things are at, and I have had a few questions. First of all thank you for your patience; this process has forced me to develop some myself – but it has been necessary as there are a lot of stakeholders involved in this project. Since the last email I sent out on 27th Oct:
- CCC have approved the extension of Snactuary land deal from 3 years to 5 years in support of EPIC
- A considerable amount of project due diligence has been undertaken by external parties in the past fortnight. This is a requirement due to funding coming from two government agencies, a major bank and other third parties.
- Legal documents have been prepared for the variety of agreements we need to have in place, including with tenants.
- The campus Opex model development is progressing
- Our funding shortfall and crucial project underwrite appears to have found a suitable third party to support us – we are currently in advanced discussion to finalise this important hurdle.
- Insurance for the campus is also under active review – with earthquake and non-earthquake cover options being considered
- We have completed a site survey, including a GeoTech assessment and are waiting for the report
- Tenant allocation to office spaces has been delayed a week due to a re-design requirement – we are now looking to table these within a week
- By the end of this coming week we aim to send out a tenant information pack for review, this will include:
- Tenant lease agreement
- Final site design and preliminary tenant allocations
- Updated plan for campus build & go-live
- Opex cost preliminary indication
- Please note that the final design referenced above does not include any tenant specific requirements – these have not been forgotten but are outside of scope until we have all of the core financials in place and approved. At this point we can then revisit with you any specific requirements – these can be discussed/clarified at our next tenant meeting.
- The following week, Wed Nov 9th we will hold a tenant meeting to discuss the information released previously and the move forward into formal lease agreements. We will review the proposed campus governance structure and setting up a tenant advisory group.
Progress update Sep 27th
The EPIC Advisory group is making good progress as follows:
- A formal tender document has been released to selected vendors for the build of Sanctuary to firm up the costs and help us finalise our financial requirements. Tenders are due back on Sep 30th.
- A revised site design has been created, following feedback from tenants and our architect advisors.
- In the week starting Oct 3rd the Advisory group will be evaluating tenders and select 1-2 vendors to progress to the next stage.
- Running in parallel we will be updating our financial model and firming up our overall financial requirements, funding sources and tenant lease requirements to support the project.
- We are continuing to seek sponsorship options
- A tenant update meeting will be held to firm up the final design and costs in the week starting Oct 10th (or following week at latest)
- Following this meeitng we will be progressing to a Heads of Agreement with tenants, firmimg up committment levels.
EPIC Progress Update – Sep 5th 2011
Just a quick update on progress since our tenant meeting on August 24th.
- Government funding support is progressing from a number of sources. We still have a signifciant shortfall on our funding requirements but are working hard to close the gap.
- A preliminary campus design is being prepared and released to tender this week to secure firmer pricing and seek creative funding solutions.
- We are now evaluating sponsorship options for the Sanctuary campus, we have had lots of approaches but now is the time to firm these up into financial reality.
- We are aiming to bring together the various components in play at the moment by Sep 16th to then bring us closer to the decision point.
- Once we have a green light we will present the preliminary campus design to tenants and give you the opportunity to influence this for your business needs before locking both the design and costs in.
- We are going OK, but we need continued support and influence wherever you may be able to apply it through your own networks.
EPIC Prospective Tenant Meeting – Wed 24th August
Meeting details: 4-6pm Wednesday, 24th August – Imagitech Theatre, CPIT, Madras Street
Following the recent email the EPIC team would like to invite prospective tenants to an update meeting for the project. The agenda for the meeting is:
- General progress update
- CCC land approval review
- Government funding update
- Other sources of funding
- Building options considered
- Sanctuary build timeline
- Tenant “acceptance process”
- Sigma long term vision update
It is our hope that at least one person per prospective tenant organisation attends the meeting. We are reaching a point in the project where we will need to start firming up tenant commitment (for Sanctuary) and
need as many of you present as possible to encourage good discussion and feedback.
EPIC Tenant Update
Since the publicity burst two weeks ago the EPIC team has been focused on seeking funding to turn the project vision into reality. Due to the number of prospective tenants currently displaced our attention has been on establishing the Sanctuary campus as a short-term solution (3 years) while the long term campus planniong continues in parallel. This has required extensive discussions and proposals submitted with government agencies. While we are making progress, this takes time. Over the next week we will complete our next round of submissions for government consideration.
Our intention is to hold a tenants update meeting in the week starting August 22nd. This is likely to be a 4-6pm session mid-week. We will try to provide at least one week’s notice of the meeting time and place. It would be good to see as many prospective tenants as possible at this meeting as we wish to both inform and seek feedback on our progress and proposed next steps.
Any questions, please feel free to contact Wil McLellan or Colin Andersen
Hub has Epic potential – Visiting Google executive
CCC approves Sanctuary land deal
At the council meeting today the city council approved the use of the Para Rubber site for EPIC Sanctuary campus for 3 years at no charge. This is a fantastic step forward for the initiative overall. The EPIC team is extremely grateful to the council and the council staff who helped make this happen.
The Para Rubber site is a 4,000 sqm site on Manchester St, between Tuam and St Asaph. It is not in the red zone, but is on the edge of it.
Next step government funding to support the build – we are in active discussions currently. Onwards and upwards!