Christchurch's iconic container mall could run long-term!
Property developer Antony Gough wants to site the Re:Start Mall near his new CBD development The Terrace, for at least 10 years.
"We should retain the Re:Start in the CBD. It's globally recognised and Christchurch wants it to stay."
Tenants are rapt...not so another CBD developer. Lichfield Holdings' Nick Hunt wants it gone, once his $140m office and retail complex - the BNZ Centre - is completed in Nov.2016: "The whole idea was for the Re:Start to maintain the central city as a retail area on a temporary basis. That was the basis for my decisions."
|Gough sees Bigger Picture|
Re:Start The Heart Trust chairman John Suckling has not struck any deal with Gough: "The trust's efforts now are to keep Re:Start going until new permanent retail premises are available for tenants to move into. This was it's whole purpose." Once that's done, he says, "...given the trust is a charity, it would be inappropriate to give the containers to one or any developer."
Gough would consider buying the lot, while Suckling says the trust may put the containers up for auction - but the Re:Start brand would not be part of the package.
I believe the Re:Start is such a symbol of Christchurch's recovery, that it would be a waste to lose it completely. The challenge will be to locate it where its vibrancy can benefit all...and ideally for its iconic name to continue too.
Other cities around the world have markets that benefit neighbouring retailers - London's Chelsea Market; Melbourne's Victoria Market; Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. Let's consider Re:Start from a long-term perspective: it's already much more than the sum of its parts.