Wigram's The Landing set to take off

WORK BEGINS: An artist's impression of The Landing, which is expected to open by mid-2015.
WORK BEGINS: An artist's impression of The Landing, which is expected to open by mid-2015.

The new Wigram town centre is to cater to an expected surge in population in the south-west, writes TESS MCCLURE.

Construction has begun on The Landing, a $40 million shopping centre and "town centre" development in Christchurch's Wigram Skies residential subdivision.

The 7000 square metre development, a project of Ngai Tahu Property, is expected to have its first stage open and trading by mid 2015.

With the population of south-west Christchurch set to treble in the next 35 years, Ngai Tahu Property development manager Alan Grove said The Landing would cater to urban growth in the region.

"Wigram is definitely set to take off," Grove said.

The first stage complex will include restaurants, cafes and retail - at least 12 shops in total.

Among the confirmed tenants are cafe franchise Joe's Garage, Hikari Sushi Bar, Unichem Pharmacy and a New World supermarket. All are expected to be open and trading by June 2015.

Community facilities, including a pre-school for up to 80 children, are scheduled to open at the same time, and a veterinary clinic will open later in the year.

The finished complex will be centred around a town square, with covered walkways, more than 20 stores, and offices for businesses such as lawyers and accountants.

High-density residential housing is also planned for The Landing.

Wigram Skies will eventually have more than 1800 homes and about 4000 residents.

Grove said stage two of the development would begin when enough leases had been secured.

"If leases continue to roll in, it will start late this year," he said.

Grove said interest had been strong from business owners, and Ngai Tahu Property was in negotiations with other parties.

Joe's Garage Sumner co-owner Anton Matthews said he felt "lucky" to be working with architect and designer Charlie Nott.

Matthews said he and co-owner Jess Matthews had family at Wigram Skies and grew up in Halswell, so were looking forward to starting a new cafe in the area.

"We are going to create a very special place for the community that we are proud of."

Hikari Sushi co-owner Shawn Kim said he was "excited" to be expanding the Queenstown and Dunedin-based business into Christchurch.

Christchurch construction firm Armitage Williams will be building stage one of the development, and the complex has been designed by the Buchan Group, which also designed the Christchurch Art Gallery.

The Press