Farmers market plan for central Christchurch's Re:Start site attracts 'huge' interest
Twenty businesses have signed up to take premises in the new farmers market precinct planned for central Christchurch.
First announced in November, the $80 million complex will be built on the Re:Start site at the western end of the city's retail precinct.
Its five buildings will house an indoor daily farmers market plus an international food hall, eating and drinking places, fashion shops, and offices.
Developers the Peebles Group said they had already received "huge interest" from tenants.
"We are getting lots and lots and lots of inquiry," director Richard Peebles said. "We are moving around the layout to try and work out where they will all land."
Peebles said they had signed up six fashion stores which were "well-known, established brands" and included two international tenants. They have also signed 14 "foodie" tenants and a cafe. Stallholders will be chosen nearer opening time.
It was too early to name the tenants, he said.
"We've got some good foodies lined up, some good-quality brand names, and they will bring lots of people in. The permanent food places and the farmers market will be a big draw for the other shops."
They are targeting Re:Start businesses as potential tenants also.
Resource consent application for the project will be lodged by the end of the month. Construction will start in October and take a year.
Part of the planning for the project has involved designing connections to the public riverfront alongside. The developers hope to attract large events such as festivals, art and craft and late-night markets, and street parties to that space.
Peebles said they had held fruitful discussions with Crown rebuild company Otakaro, seeking changes to a riverfront promenade design drawn up before their project was announced.
Otakaro's programme will pave, light and and landscape that area of the river promenade, which links the Bridge of Remembrance to the new earthquake memorial. The work is part of the Avon River precinct project, intended to improve accessibility and encourage private development along the waterfront.
An Otakaro spokesman said they had agreed with the developers to rework some aspects of the design. The changes involved shifting locations for public seats and light poles to make room for daily food deliveries to the market.
"These are minor refinements that do not alter the promenade concept or add any cost or time to the project," the spokesman said.
The Peebles Group already owned some of the farmers market site, bordered by Cashel and Lichfield sts and Oxford Tce, and bought the rest of what they needed for the project from Crown company Otakaro.
Peebles' partners in the project are businessmen Kris Inglis and Mike Percasky, who are also involved with the Peebles Group's McKenzie and Willis and Duncan's Lane redevelopments.