Christchurch container mall makes way for permanent rebuild

Retailers at Christchurch's Re:START container mall have spent the day packing up their shops so that relocating the containers can begin tomorrow.

Twenty businesses are shifting to another part of the mall to make way for a new permanent building development to begin.

The mannequins were on the move this morning – one by one they were carried from containers-turned-shops into storage.

Menswear retailer Barkers is one of 20 stores clearing out completely, so the shells they have been occupying can be shifted.

"I think it's very exciting," says Barkers manager Leanne Magill. "I think once we shift it might bring new life to the Re:START and more people back into the city. Hopefully that's what happens."

In October 2011 the Re:START mall opened, its purpose exactly that – to restart the city centre's retail industry after the earthquake. Now the northern end of the mall is on the move, so a permanent rebuild can begin.

"The whole idea was to keep people trading until the new buildings arrived, so we are very happy in that sense to be shifting, because it means there's some progress going on," says chairman John Suckling.

The containers are being relocated to the southern end of the mall. The move will take 10 days, but once resettled there, the businesses will be able to stay for at least a year.

Packing up is a big job. Ten thousand books need to be boxed at Scorpio Books alone, but manager David Ault says it's to be expected when being part of a temporary mall.

"[We packed] once when we move to this one, and of course when we moved in in the first place, but that was a brand-new experience, so this is our second re-run."

The 20 shops have until 12am tonight to completely empty as the cranes arrive early tomorrow morning to start the lifting.

3 News

source: newshub archive