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Post-quake offices keep Apollo Projects busy

Christchurch construction firm Apollo Projects has completed 8000 square metres of new buildings in Christchurch since the February 22 earthquake and there is continued demand for new post-quake business premises in the city.

After February Apollo Projects, which usually focuses on food and beverage sector builds, recognised the impact the quake had had on central city businesses and saw there would be a need for immediate earthquake-relief buildings to house displaced businesses.

The company developed the “modular system” of constructing open plan office buildings which meet new seismic building standards, and can be assembled rapidly, to provide post-quake premises for businesses.

Business development manager Grant Black said the company had put together a preliminary design which it put out to market, and it was then picked up by a number of different development groups, including Christchurch International Airport Ltd. Apollo secured the development of the airport’s temporary office park development on Orchard Rd.

The office park provides commercial spaces for quake-displaced businesses needing a temporary location.

Apollo has built 5000sqm of buildings for office park tenants including Farmers Mutual Group, Dispute Resolution Services, the Department of Internal Affairs and St John.

It also constructed the 860sqm building for House of Travel Holdings – in nine weeks.

Its modular system was also used in the 3000sqm Stronger Christchurch Alliance Offices build, completed in October.

While the last six months had been about immediate relief after the earthquake the construction firm was now seeing more focus on longer term construction and industrial demand as people were looking beyond just the next three years, Black said.

The company was committed to the city and its rebuild, Black said. “We see a lot of positive things.”

Apollo is now working on a 2000sqm neutraceutical facility on Mary Muller Dr in Heathcote for developers Castle Rock Properties Ltd.

Black said Apollo was seeing a shortage of quality commercial space available in Christchurch.

Apollo was on a significant growth path, and although the earthquake-related construction was not its primary driver nor focus it was a significant addition to its workload, prompting the company to hire more staff, particularly project managers.

Since February last year the company had hired six new employees, bringing staff numbers up to 30, and was advertising for five new staff members with skills in construction, particularly project managers and quantity surveyors.

Black said it was sourcing staff from within New Zealand and abroad.