Eastgate activity picks up

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 11:16 24/09/2012

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The managers of Christchurch's Eastgate Shopping Centre say it has seen a significant increase in leasing inquiries and activity.

Eastgate is owned by NZX-listed company NPT Limited, and has been managed by Jones Lang La Salle since July.

Joanna Hollander was appointed as centre manager, it was announced today.

Eastgate was impacted heavily by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, losing one of its largest tenants, Farmers, which had leased 4000 square metres ground-floor space.

NPT, formerly National Property, has since marked down the mall value to $35.5 million from $55m. It has spent about $14m on repairs and strengthening as it looks to rebuild the retail centre business.

Jones Lang La Salle national retail manager Alistair Penny said Hollander had a strong retail property background and she would be a great asset for the centre.

''Our aim is to have Eastgate fully leased, and to continue to help rebuild the sense of community in east Christchurch which is centred around Eastgate."

Prior to her appointment, Hollander was centre manager at Remarkables Park Town Centre for more than two years where she was responsible for 50 tenants and 24,000sqm of retail, office and service tenancies under management.

Since April, when Eastgate received its Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority certification, there had been a significant increase in leasing enquiry and activity, Penny said.

Lincraft, the Australian fabric, craft and home furnishing store recently signed an eight-year lease for 1500sqm and would open in mid-November.

"The resurgence of leasing interest in Eastgate is due, in no small measure, to former centre manager Graeme Roberts," Penny said.

"Graeme has worked tirelessly to get the centre repaired, rebuilt and revitalised since the earthquakes began in September 2010. We are enormously grateful to his energy and commitment to Eastgate."

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- The Press

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