Move to save part of Re:Start Mall

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 05:00 16/01/2014

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Negotiations are under way to save the northern part of Christchurch's Re:Start Mall.

Tenants on the northern side of the Cashel St precinct - owned mostly by Lichfield Holdings - must leave in April as construction of the company's Cashel Square complex begins.

Debate about moving the Cashel St mall to New Brighton was sparked yesterday, but Re:Start chairman John Suckling says it is in discussions with the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) about relocating within a block of Ballantynes.

Christchurch City Councillor Glenn Livingstone yesterday said he had believed the mall could have a place in New Brighton since Re:Start's inception in 2011.

Suckling said the move was unlikely as the Re:Start The Heart Trust was set up to focus on boosting retail in the central city.

He said that later, when a temporary mall was no longer needed, the shipping containers could be sold and relocated. "Maybe that's where New Brighton comes in."

CCDU director Warwick Isaacs said it continued to work with the trust and there "may be provision to extend" current leases.

"One of the key aims of the Re:Start project was to bring retail back into the central city as a transitional step in the rebuild, and this has been a success," Isaccs said.

He would not comment when asked if the unit was considering relocating the mall to Crown-owned land.

Land owners on the southern side of Cashel St are happy for tenants to remain on their sites and want to see the northern part of the mall saved.

Denis Sunderland owns the block of land that houses Dimitris Greek Food and other outlets and said he was "more than happy" for the containers and stalls to remain for the foreseeable future.

"I think Re:Start Mall is a fantastic thing and it's a shame it's got to go." He did have long-term plans for his site, but did not want the mall to go yet.

"As for New Brighton, maybe it could work . . . but I do think Re:Start is a CBD entity."

Peter Guthrey, who owns the large site that includes Hummingbird Cafe and Johnson's Grocery, said the mall belonged in the CBD.

"If New Brighton wants their own type of Re:Start then I think they should do it . . . but there's enough vacant space in the city to be able to accommodate [Re:Start mall]."

He was happy for the mall tenants to remain on his site as he could not make development plans until the outcome of the CCDU's design plan for the precinct and a decision on the future of the Lichfield St car park were known.

Paul Zaanen, manager of the New Brighton Business Association, said business owners and the community backed moving the mall to New Brighton.

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He said the earthquake-hit suburb needed temporary retail and hospitality outlets to "provide a social and economic boost".

Zaanen said it could be housed on Marine Parade, opposite the library.

He said Cr Paul Lonsdale - the former chairman of the Re:Start The Heart Trust - had "hinted that maybe Re:Start could move to New Brighton".

Livingstone said he had mooted the idea on his Facebook page more than once and had received "really positive reaction". He would meet Zaanen and Lonsdale next week to discuss the idea.

- The Press

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