Bars, restaurants and a bank coming to CBD

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 05:00 26/06/2014

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Plans for a gleaming glass building returning hundreds of workers to central Christchurch have been hailed as a major boost for the city.

The multimillion-dollar Triangle Centre rebuild will be four storeys high with a large public atrium, street-level shops and cafes, and glass facades.

Construction will start within weeks. Tenants ANZ bank and consulting engineers Beca have already signed to take up space.

The central-city site - opposite Ballantynes and bordered by Colombo, Cashel and High streets - has been a car park since the old Triangle centre was demolished.

Described by its Australian and New Zealand architects as state-of-the-art, the building's "light and airy" glass atrium will hold a large hospitality area accessible from the street. Shops will face street frontages and a basement car park will have entry from Colombo St.

Facades will be glazed with a tinted glass curtain wall with a three-dimensional feel and include a "light box" on the Cashel-Colombo corner set above transparent retail shop fronts.

The precinct will be called the ANZ Centre. Work will start in August and is scheduled for a late 2016 finish. Costings for the project are being kept under wraps, but The Press understands it will be worth about $70 million.

The developer is CHC Properties, jointly owned by fashion retailer, investor and rich-lister Tim Glasson, and fellow Hallenstein Glasson shareholder and chairman Warren Bell.

The building is likely to house about 700 office, retail and hospitality workers.

ANZ chief executive David Hisco said it would have 200 staff in its new premises, both in corporate offices and a ground-floor branch.

"The new ANZ Centre is a vote of confidence in the future of the Christchurch CBD and the Christchurch recovery as a whole."

Beca has 300 Christchurch staff. Managing director Don Lyon said they were "delighted" to be returning to the central city.

Retail tenants for the building will be sought later.

Glasson and Bell bought the land last year from long-time owner Michael-Ogilvie Lee, who tried without success to replace the old Triangle Centre with a $100m sculptural glass-wrapped office and shopping centre.

The land was also the subject of an acclaimed Gothic design with a modern twist, drawn up in 2012 by Christchurch architectural graduate James Carr.

Under rebuild rules, property developments in the core retail area around the mall must be masterplanned and cover at least half a block.

This has left some owners struggling to comply, as they battle rising construction costs, uncertainties over issues such as car parking, and tenant reluctance to commit to the central city.

Central City Business Association chairman and fellow developer Antony Gough said Glasson's plan looked "fantastic" and was exciting for the city. "It's another great milestone - we are all heading in the right direction."

Leasing agent Ryan Geddes of Colliers said the project was "a significant step in providing tenants with confidence to return to the central city". He called the plan "exactly the sort of news that tenants eyeing the CBD have been waiting to hear".

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Architect Brad Luke, of Peddle Thorp, which has designed the building from a concept by Sydney architects Esquisse Design Studio, said the building would be "a fantastic asset" which would set the bar high for the mall.

"It will really define the retail precinct and boost the [working] population."

WHO IS REBUILDING THE CITY MALL? 

Tim Glasson

Heads and co-owns the Hallenstein Glassons fashion chain. Previously he owned part of the Triangle Centre block before buying the whole lot back to build the ANZ Centre. Previous owner of The Palms mall in Shirley and owns properties on Auckland's Queen St.

Philip Carter

Heads Carter Group, with major land holdings including a chunk of the convention centre site. Planning a major complex inside Cashel, Colombo, Lichfield and High streets, but has not released details. Rebuilding The Crossing car park. Shareholder in Heartland Bank. Civil engineer by training, a former city councillor and part of a political family.

Antony Gough

Bought out brother and twin sister through his company Hereford Holdings to gain enough land for his now-stalled Terrace office and hospitality complex. Owns land on New Brighton waterfront and co-owner of Gough Holdings and Russley Retirement Village. Grandson of Gough Gough and Hamer founder. Chairman of the Central City Business Association.

Nick Hunt

Heads up Lichfield Holdings, owner of new Cashel Square precinct going up on Cashel and Hereford streets to replace their lost buildings including Shades Arcade, Whitcoulls and Weekly Press. The company also owns HSBC Tower on Worcester Boulevard, retail property in Linwood and has rebuilt its Briscoes store in Salisbury St.

- The Press

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