Sunday, April 26, 2015

Re:Start Mall Is More Than The Sum Of Its Parts

Great news for Re:Start Mall fans.
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.
The temporary mall was built using colourful shipping containers on the earthquake-damaged City Mall retail space in Oct.2011. Gough: "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
Gough points out that " shops will be tailor-made, with air conditioning, double-glazing and insulation. The container mall is different - it suits tenants who can't afford higher rents."
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.

1 comment:

Penny said...

This would be great...if only Gough was given the "go". He seems one of the city's few visionaries, but also seems hog-tied by WAY too much red tape!
Central Govt.needs to unleash Chch to get on with its own future. Chch is not a plasticine pile for the shape into its dream city - it is where peope live, work, breathe. And we need to be allowed to do just THAT!!!