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