Thriving Christchurch shopping centre for sale

Lilly Cooper set to sell The Colombo shopping centre in Sydenham

Well-known Christchurch property developer Lilly Cooper is selling The Colombo in Sydenham, after transforming it over the past eight years into a thriving shopping centre.

Cooper is highly respected for breathing new life into existing buildings and repositioning them at the top end of the market.

Among her other previous projects is Hotel Montreal, which she refurbished and renamed, turning it into a five-star boutique hotel now operated by The George.

The innovative developer bought the then Spotlight Plaza at 363 Colombo Street in Colombo Street in 2010, two weeks before the first Canterbury earthquake.

"After that, everything changed – The Colombo was going to be something totally different – but after the quakes we needed a space like this for people to enjoy and to come together."

Under Cooper’s hands-on direction, The Colombo is one of the best stories to emerge post-earthquake, and now boasts an eclectic and strong mix of retailers, bars and hospitality outlets, together with an art house cinema.

There are approximately 44 tenancies ranging in size from 8sq m to 3,031sq m.

Colliers International’s Courtney Doig, who is marketing the property in conjunction with Hamish Doig, says there is still plenty of potential for further development of The Colombo.

“The Colombo is anchored by the highly successful Spotlight store, which is shifting to a larger store when its lease expires at the end of 2021.

“This provides excellent scope for a new buyer to add significant value and develop a third stage to the shopping centre.

“We think The Colombo will have huge appeal to buyers, both domestic and offshore, who are looking for a substantial retail asset to add to their portfolio.

“It’s a real destination in Canterbury and occupies a unique niche in the market.”

Cooper says the time is right to sell.

“I’m thrilled with the way The Colombo has worked out, it’s everything I envisaged. But due to ill health recently I’ve decided it’s an opportune time to sell and let someone else take it to the next level.”

Cooper upgraded and transformed The Colombo in 2011-2012 and repositioned it at the top end of the market.

Spurred by The Colombo’s success, the surrounding Sydenham area is undergoing a resurgence with a mix of new housing and gentrification of older areas sitting alongside tightly held light industrial sites.

The Colombo comprises five titles, totalling a land area of 17,567sq m. The total gross floor area of the expanded centre is 7,933sqm.

Enjoying a superb interface with the immediate vicinity, The Colombo enjoys an extensive 75m frontage to busy Colombo Street, 180m to Elgin Street, 122m to Stanley Street and 25m fronting Durham Street South. This offers three vehicle accesses and four pedestrian entranceways.

The Colombo is for sale by deadline private treaty, closing at 4pm on Thursday March 14, unless sold earlier.

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