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$140 million precinct for Christchurch

Plans for a glossy $140 million development in the City Mall have been unveiled.

The precinct will include shops, offices, cafes, bars and car parking around a network of laneways and air bridges.

Christchurch’s wealthiest man, central city landlord Philip Carter, is behind the plan. Construction starts soon and the precinct will occupy new and heritage buildings on over a hectare of land between Cashel, Colombo, Lichfield and High streets. It is due to open in October next year.

Carter promised the development would be ‘‘the cornerstone of a vibrant and world-class retail precinct that will be a drawcard for locals and visitors alike’’.

The hospitality area would be open from daytime to evenings and feature a distinctive glass bubble facade.

‘‘It will give the central city a new heart and pump life back into the retail precinct as a whole,’’ he said.

Tenants have not yet been announced but are likely to include fashion and food and beverage outlets.

Carter said tenant interest had been ‘‘very strong’’.

A leading possibility is British global fashion retailer Topshop, as Carter has taken a shareholding in the company’s New Zealand arm.

Office floors will be at either end of the precinct, with hospitality in the middle.

An existing air bridge will link it to Ballantynes to the west and it will also link to The Crossing car park, which Carter has bought from the Christchurch City Council.

Carter has bought 80 per cent of the site since the earthquakes, expanding his smaller holding that was on the Cashel-Colombo corner under the original Crossing name.

He joins other landlords including Tim Glasson, Nick Hunt and Antony Gough in launching his development under special Christchurch Central Development Unit rules for the city’s retail core. Owners must put together masterplanned developments with pedestrian links.

Carter said this requirement had made planning harder but he was very pleased with the result.

‘‘We’ve spent a lot of time making sure there was plenty of sun and light and shelter. Getting the car parking was key to making it work,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s all going to start happening around here now – this area is really changing quickly.’’


  • Liz McDonald
  • The Press

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