Christchurch Mall re-opened in ‘shipping containers’

November 9, 2011 § 2 Comments

Christchurch’s Cashell mall has been re-opened but with a new look: shipping containers.

This developement in the rebuilding of Christchurch’s CBD was brought to my attention by a fellow blogger.

The mall, opened on October 28 is composed of  60 brightly coloured shipping containers, stacked in various ways. 27 shops and cafes, including Christchurch retail institution Ballantynes, will be housed in the containers.

It is the first shopping area in the red zoned CBD to be opened to the public since the devastating earthquake on February 22 this year, which killed 181 people.

Key cuts the ribbon 

New Zealand’s Prime Minster, John Key, was was there to officially re-open the mall and cut the ribbon. Key said that the opening of the mall marked a “great day” for the people of Christchurch.

“This is an important step in re-opening the CBD red zone to residents and retailers alike, and gives more certainty to people as they look to the future of this great city.”

Cashell mall is part of the ‘Restart the Heart’ project which has been established to help rebuild retail hubs in the city centre. Restart the Heart has been given a $NZ3.36 interest-free loan by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust.

Christchurch Mayor, Bob Parkers says that the project will help boost the moral of Christchurch’s residents:

“This marks the beginning of our city making the most extraordinary comeback.”

The containers currently have six months leases, but could potentially stay in place for up to a year.

Containers come with controversy 

However, the opening has not been without controversy. British developer, Roger Wade, who created a similar ‘pop-up mall’ in Shoreditch, London, had complained that the Christchurch version had copied his idea. In later comments he softened his attitude saying he simply wanted recognition that his mall had inspired Cashell Mall.

Nevertheless, the re-opening of Cashell Mall signifies a welcomed step forward in rebuilding Christchurch and leading the city back to normalcy.

If you would like to see pictures from the re-opening, please click the link.

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