Quake-hit town wants con­tainer mall

The Press - - News - NICK TRUEBRIDGE

Earth­quake-hit Kaiko¯ ura is keen to repli­cate the ship­ping con­tainer shop­ping mall con­cept that helped save Christchurch’s cen­tral city.

Plans to in­stall a smaller ver­sion of the Christchurch’s for­mer Re:Start Mall, which used brightly coloured con­tain­ers as tem­po­rary shops af­ter the city’s own 2011 quake, are un­der way but the group be­hind it is says it ur­gently needs fund­ing to com­plete the project.

The old Adel­phi Ho­tel site has been of­fered up as a lo­ca­tion. The ho­tel was de­mol­ished af­ter last Novem­ber’s mag­ni­tude-7.8 earth­quake.

Kaiko¯ ura busi­ness owner Steph Thomp­son, one of five on a com­mit­tee be­hind the UpLift Hub project, said a sale and pur­chase agree­ment had been reached with Christchurch de­vel­oper Richard Pee­bles to buy three con­tain­ers be­ing used at the Christchurch con­tainer mall.

How­ever, to get the project off the ground a fund­ing gap of about $184,000 needed to be filled to cover tasks like con­sent­ing and site im­prove­ments.

The to­tal cost of the project was $311,500, but that would be less­ened through the likes of Ki­wiRail of­fer­ing to trans­port the con­tain­ers.

Nu­mer­ous busi­nesses down Kaiko¯ura’s west end, in­clud­ing Thomp­son’s, were dam­aged in the earth­quake and some own­ers have nowhere to re­lo­cate in the area.

Five busi­nesses will ini­tially make up the UpLift Hub.

Kaiko¯ ura also needed ‘‘an of­fer­ing for vis­i­tors’’ for when State High­way 1 north of the town re­opened, Thomp­son said.

The Kaiko¯ura con­tainer mall project was at a ‘‘make or break stage’’.

‘‘We need it [fund­ing] this week,’’ Thomp­son said, adding the sale and pur­chase agree­ment could be held for an­other cou­ple of days.

Busi­ness own­ers be­hind the project had been deal­ing di­rectly with the Gov­ern­ment to try and se­cure fund­ing, but with­out suc­cess.

‘‘I would love the Crown to come to the party . . . they’ve been aware of this since April,’’ Thomp­son said.

‘‘We’ve been strug­gling to get in front of the right peo­ple.‘‘

The UpLift Hub idea was thought up for the same rea­sons as Christchurch’s Re:Start Mall.

For­mer Re:Start man­ager and cur­rent Christchurch Cen­tral City Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion man­ager Paul Lons­dale has been called in to as­sist the Kaiko¯ura busi­ness own­ers.

‘‘If we think about Kaiko¯ura, it’s only two hours from Christchurch. To me it’s one of the spokes in our of­fer­ing as a re­gion,’’ he said.

‘‘I think there’s a high chance it could hap­pen . . . they re­ally want it to hap­pen.’’

PHOTO: STUFF

The old Adel­phi Ho­tel site has been of­fered up as a lo­ca­tion for Kaiko¯ ura’s own con­tainer mall.

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