Retail precinct landowner ready to redevelop prime site in Cashel Mall in Christchurch

Christchurch central city landlord Peter Guthrey is set to redevelop his prized site next to Ballantynes in the Christchurch Retail Precinct.

Guthrey Holdings has owned the prime site for 30 years, dating back to the days of the old Bells Arcade before it was redeveloped into the Guthrey Centre in 1986.

Expressions of interest are being sought for a design build on the 2000m2 property, which previously incorporated clothing retailer Country Road and is now on the east end of Re:START. Design options are flexible depending on the nature of the tenant, and could be multi level or single storey.

"We’ve never intended to sell this site and have always regarded it as the premium site along the retail precinct. Nothing has changed and we’re still as committed as ever to providing an excellent retail building in the CBD.”

Nick Doig, Colliers International, director of retail leasing for Colliers International in Christchurch, said he is talking with large prospective anchor tenants who recognise the special nature of the site.

“It’s extremely rare that a site like this becomes available with the opportunity for a retailer to have a design build to meet their requirements. We believe the most likely tenant will be a large format specialty retailer who will provide a further anchor to the City Mall.”

Doig said preliminary plans for an upmarket building, designed by Melbourne firm Plus Architecture, will feature a double height façade onto Cashel Street with a north-facing frontage of 41 metres. It is also proposed that there will also be direct access into the planned Christchurch City Council car park building, plans for which are expected to be announced shortly.

“The Retail Precinct is really starting to take shape now and prospective tenants have increasing confidence as businesses announce their commitment to the inner city.
 Top Shop and Fresh Choice will add further weight to The Crossing and news that Mecca Maxima is opening its first New Zealand store in the ANZ Centre – diagonally opposite Ballantynes – is further good news for the area.

“This sort of opportunity really is a once in a lifetime to secure a significant footprint in the heart of the retail precinct, with the opportunity to have the building specifically designed.”

Subject to the timing of lease commitment, we anticipate completion of the development by mid next year.

John Suckling, chairman of Re:START, said the proposal will only affect a small number of retailers in the container mall and he is delighted at the prospect of a permanent development in this area.

“We’re thrilled that the central city is starting to flourish and that Re:START has played its part in regenerating interest in the CBD.”

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