New tenants for Cathedral Junction

Precinct's prime retail space fills ahead of open

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 14:26 24/07/2013
Cathedral Junction
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ
BACK IN BUSINESS: Cathedral Junction's tenant mix will look similar to before the earthquakes.

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Tenants for a repaired inner-city tourist precinct will be more new than old, as Liz McDonald reports.

A central Christchurch precinct due to reopen in a few weeks has found tenants for half its shops.

Repairs on Cathedral Junction in central Christchurch will be finished by the end of this month, ready for businesses to move in.

The tourist-oriented retail, hospitality and accommodation complex has been closed since the February 2011 earthquakes.

Linking Worcester and Gloucester streets, it houses the Quest Apartments and the Hotel 115 (formerly Hotel off the Square), with 19 retail spaces at ground level under a glass atrium. The reopened Rendezvous Hotel is at the precinct's northern end.

Teri Tekii, property manager for Cathedral Junction owner Equity Trust Pacific, says four leases have been signed by owners of two gift stores, a Japanese restaurant, and a cafe. One is a returning tenant, Seasons Cafe, which will reopen in its previous triangular premises facing Worcester St.

As well, the company is negotiating terms with about six other businesses, including a photographic outlet, convenience store, travel booking office, and another cafe and restaurant.

Tekii is now looking for more tenants such as a florist, a fashion store, and a beauty shop/day spa.

Both the size of the shops and the types of tenants wanted are unchanged from before the quakes. Spaces range in size in size from 33 to 178 square metres.

"We're keen to attract a mix that would meet the need of people living and staying around it."

Cathedral Junction's annual retail rents range from about $350 to $450 a square metre. Tekii says they are negotiable, and they have been offering incentives to attract firms back into the central city.

He says interest has picked up in the past few weeks since repairs have approached completion. The reopenings of the Rendezvous and New Regent St opposite have also helped, he believes.

He also says Equity Pacific has worked in with leasing agents handling New Regent St, with both precincts offering different floor sizes.

Opening dates for the complex will depend on council consents, and he says the Christchurch City Council has been "very keen" to help get the doors open promptly.

Tenants have been allowed access to measure up and plan interior fitouts, and will be able to start work on their shops once they are handed over next month.

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Cathedral Junction opened in 2005 after Equity Trust Pacific managing director Ernest Duval bought it as a development site from the Britten family following the death of developer and designer John Britten.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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