New retail building for Christchurch

11:37 AM Wednesday February 17, 2016 Colin Taylor

The new building will be constructed on this Christchurch site – identified by a blue border.

Christchurch central city landlord Peter Guthrey is set to redevelop his long-held site next to the Ballantynes department store in the Christchurch Retail Precinct at the east end of the Re:START container mall.

“Design options are flexible depending on the nature of the tenant,” says Nick Doig, director of retail leasing for Colliers International in Christchurch who is seeking expressions of interest for tenancies in the new custom-design building to go up at 118-126 Cashel St.

“We are talking with large prospective anchor tenants who recognise the special nature of this site,” Doig says. Subject to the timing of lease commitment, we anticipate completion of the development by mid next year.”

The building will have a footprint of 2050 sq m on the 2000 sq m site which previously housed clothing retailer Country Road.

Doig says preliminary plans for an upmarket building, designed by Melbourne firm Plus Architecture, will feature a double height facade onto Cashel Street with a north-facing frontage of 41 metres. It is also proposed that there will also be direct access into a planned Christchurch City Council car park building.

Doig said preliminary plans for an upmarket building, designed by Melbourne firm Plus Architecture, will feature a double height façade onto Cashel Street with a north-facing frontage of 41 metres. It is also proposed that there will also be direct access into the planned Christchurch City Council car park building, plans for which are expected to be announced shortly.

Guthrey Holdings has owned the prime site for 30 years, dating back to the days of the old Bells Arcade before it was redeveloped into the Guthrey Centre in 1986.

“We’ve never intended to sell this site and have always regarded it as the premium site along the retail precinct,” says Peter Guthrey. “Nothing has changed and we’re still as committed as ever to providing an excellent retail building in the CBD.”

Doig says it’s extremely rare for a site like this to become available with the opportunity for a retailer to have a custom designed building to meet their requirements.

“We believe the most likely tenant will be a large format specialty retailer who will provide a further anchor to the City Mall.

“The Retail Precinct is really starting to take shape now and prospective tenants have increasing confidence as businesses announce their commitment to the inner city. 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.”

John Suckling, chairman of Re:START, says the proposed building will only affect a small number of retailers in the container mall and he is delighted at the prospect of a permanent development in the area in which Re:START has played significant a part.