NZ’s newest town attracts big-name retailers and hospitality

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An aerial concept design of the completed Ravenswood Central.
An aerial concept design of the completed Ravenswood Central.


New Zealand’s newest town centre in Canterbury is attracting big business, with some of Australasia’s most high-profile retailers and hospitality franchises signing up for the new 20-hectare North Canterbury development, Ravenswood Central.

Retail giant Harvey Norman is expected to open a full-format store at Ravenswood Central in late 2024. Joe’s Garage and Gull Service Station have recently opened, joining New World, BP and McDonalds, with other retailers and hospitality brands expected to open later this year and throughout 2024.

One of New Zealand’s fastest-growing commercial hubs, Ravenswood Central is part of the wider Ravenswood residential development located 25km north of the Christchurch CBD.

Infinity Investment Group development manager – commercial Jerome O’Sullivan says the development has recently hit four milestones with the opening of Joe’s Garage, breaking ground for the new 9300sq m Harvey Norman store and the Freedom Lifestyle Village — which is constructing its first South Island village — as well as 1000 residential sections sold.

“We are very excited to be welcoming many high-quality retailers to Ravenswood Central, and their investment shows strong business confidence in this growing region,” O’Sullivan says.

“Our focus with the commercial centre is to provide North Canterbury residents with a diverse range of retail options, whilst enjoying the convenience of being close to home. It’s the best of both worlds, offering lifestyle and amenities.”

The Waimakariri District economy was up 3.7% last year, and higher than the national growth rate of 2.9% (according to a Quarterly Economic Monitor report released in March 2023).

Enterprise North Canterbury chief executive Heather Warwick says the commercial development underway at Ravenswood Central is a tangible tick to business confidence in the Waimakariri District.

“The development not only reflects the continued excellent economic performance of the district, but will be a notable contributor to it,” Warwick says.

“While other regions in New Zealand have been experiencing different economic pressures, North Canterbury has proven a high level of resilience due to the diversity of businesses in our region.

“The commercial area of Ravenswood will provide greater retail and hospitality choices which will increase and encourage local spending.

“Improving the amenities and vibrancy of our region will create jobs and opportunities, while providing a more enriching environment and lifestyle for our residents and visitors.”

The completed town centre will offer a mixture of restaurants, cafes, retail and commercial options to service and support the projected population growth of the Waimakariri district over the next 10 years.

About Ravenswood and Ravenswood Central

Located in North Canterbury, Ravenswood is a 150-hectare community development with a 20-hectare commercial precinct located in the Waimakariri District, approximately 25km north of Christchurch.

Ravenswood Central is a significant commercial and retail hub, set to be a catalyst for further prosperity in the district by delivering job creation, diverse amenities and a thriving residential community.

Strong residential sales have seen all lots within Stages 1-5 sell, making Stage 6 the last chance to purchase land at Ravenswood.

Ravenswood will deliver an exciting mix of food and beverage, shopping and commercial activities to a primary catchment area of 9900 residents, and a secondary catchment area of 68,000 people (the combined populations of Rangiora, Pegasus, Woodend, Kaiapoi and State Highway 1 traffic).

About Infinity Investment Group

Located in Wanaka, Infinity Investment Group is a property developer and investment group with a history of developing high quality, value-added real estate, including commercial and residential developments, across the South Island.

Infinity Investment Group was founded in 1999 by Bob and Jen Robertson who had the vision to develop land on the shores of Lake Wanaka whilst it was still very much a holiday spot.

The award-winning Sunrise Bay and luxury holiday apartments (Lakeside) were the first of the Robertson’s developments.

With sought-after areas to live in such as Peninsula Bay and Far Horizon Park completed, Infinity widened its reach and began investing in the Canterbury region, and in the agriculture and commercial sectors, with great success.

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