Multi-million dollar precincts underway in Christchurch are galvanising smaller players to become a part of the action. Peter Guthrey of Guthrey Holdings is seeking expressions of interests for a 2000 square metre site next to Ballantynes in the CBD retail precinct. rn
Guthrey has owned the site for 30 years, which is now partly occupied by the east end of container mall, Re:Start.
It formerly housed clothing retailer Country Road, a café, a jeweller and a food court.
Chairman of Re:Start John Suckling says the planned reshuffled will only affect a small number of retailers in the container mall.
Guthrey says he’s never intended to sell the site, as they’ve long regard it as a premium site in the retail district.
“Nothing has changed and we’re still as committed as ever to providing an excellent retail building in the CBD.”
Colliers Christchurch director of retail leasing Nick Doig says he’s in talks with large anchor tenants to occupy the site.
“We believe the most likely tenant will be a large format specialty retailer who will provide a further anchor to the City Mall,” Doig says.
There are preliminary plans in place for an upmarket building to be designed by Plus Architecture, with a 41 metre north-facing frontage.
There is also a proposal for direct access to the planned Christchurch City Council car park building.
The development is expected to be completed by mid next year.
Doig says the Christchurch retail precinct is really starting to take shape now that store openings are being announced.
“Top Shop and Fresh Choice will add further weight to The Crossing and news that Mecca Maxima is opening its first New Zealand store in the ANZ Centre – diagonally opposite Ballantynes – is further good news for the area.”
Almost half a billion dollars is being pumped into Christchurch’s retail sector, with the development of The Crossing, Cashel Square, The Terrace and The ANZ Centre all
Last year, Match Realty director Aubrey Cheng told The Register the developments underway are making Christchurch’s CBD an attractive place for retail once more.
“There is strong, genuine desire [for retailers] to locate in a well master planned, strong architecturally designed retail environment in the CBD which is truly different to the suburban malls because of the greater potential for productivity,” he said.
“This just follows what is happening globally, where the main street of urban CBDs are now usually the most dominant retail location, especially for flagship retail brands who want to showcase their brand and products.”