Glass 'sculpture' complex given the all clear

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 05:00 30/03/2013
An artists impression of the new OLT $100 million glass- wrapped complex replacing the Triangle Centre in Christchurch's City Mall.
An artists impression of the new OLT $100 million glass- wrapped complex replacing the Triangle Centre in Christchurch's City Mall.

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Plans for a $100 million sculptural glass complex for Christchurch's Triangle Centre site have been given the go-ahead.

The design is for three office and retail buildings four and five storeys high, built on base isolators. They will be linked by an atrium, escalators and underground car parking. The design received resource consent at a hearing of commissioners from the Christchurch City Council, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and Ngai Tahu.

"I'm very happy, we are nearly there," said owner Michael Ogilvie-Lee, of OLT Properties.

The mostly cleared City Mall site is bordered by Cashel, High and Colombo streets and includes the Hallensteins-Unlimited School land Ogilvie-Lee bought to complete the block.

He was now working on settling agreements with office tenants, who are understood to be a bank, a law firm and an accountancy practice.

Shop tenants will be found when construction begins.

Construction could start as early as June or July and be finished by autumn 2015. The complex has been designed by architects Warren and Mahoney to look like a sculpture.

The panel hearing to consider a design from Leighs Construction for a hotly contested City Mall site has been postponed while changes are made.

Leighs has designed a complex of buildings for the site, for which plans by two other developers have already been approved.

None of the contenders for the site have control of the land, which is between Cashel and Lichfield streets near the Bridge of Remembrance and is in the hands of more than a dozen small owners.

Under earthquake rebuild laws, Outline Development Plans for central Christchurch's core retail zone must cover at least 7500 square metres and meet the approval of the commissioners.

An exception has been made for the smaller Triangle Centre site.

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