Christchurch's largest private development The Crossing to open

The Crossing - the largest private development in central Christchurch - will be officially opened this weekend.

On Saturday the first stage of the 44,000-square-metre precinct will be open for business.

The enormous retail precinct will be home to several international names not seen in the South Island before, including H&M.

But for now, hard hats and high vis are still a necessary fashion accessory.

"Stage One is a milestone for us, it's been a long time to get to this point and we have some really exciting retailers," says Carter Group managing director Philip Carter.

The $140 million development spans an entire block and has secured international retailers such as H&M and Topshop as well as Country Road, Trenery and Seed.

Contractors are working around the clock putting in some of the finishing touches.

"It's like a jigsaw puzzle and it all just seems to come together in the end," says The Crossing project manager Andrew Carter.

For developer Philip Carter there's also some personal touches like the Sleepwalker sculpture which fell down a 100-metre-high cliff from Mr Carter's Sumner property during the 2011 quake - the famous artwork now hangs over one of the precinct's two laneways.

He's excited to get the development open after six years of planning.

"It's a very modern complex with great architecture and a great collection of retailers so I'm hoping the people of Christchurch will really embrace us," he says.

Another step in the central city's recovery - seven years after the first earthquake.