Plans for what would be the largest private development in the CBD of Christchurch since the 2011 earthquake have been released by the project’s developers who’re also promising that it will revitalise the precinct. 

Renders and a fly through video of ‘The Crossing’, a near 20,000sqm multipurpose shopping and office precinct and car park, have been made public by Carter Group along with an assurance that it will give the central city a new heart and pump it back to life.

The Crossing development has been designed by New Zealand firm Wilson & Hill Architects and will cover the hectare block between Cashel Mall, Colombo Street, Lichfield Street and High Street. It will comprise 14,000sqm of retail and hospitality, 5,000sqm of commercial space and a 630 car park building.

The development will be split into three major forms and accommodate the old Crossing Building, a new building to the corner of High Street and Cashel Mall, and a car park to front Lichfield Street.

The buildings will be linked and split by a series of laneways, stairs and escalators that lead to the internal courtyard where a glazed podium clad in an array of metal cylinders is situated. The air bridge connecting the first floor level with the neighbouring Ballantynes department store will also be restored.

Renders of the proposed development show a restored fa├žade on the 1935 Crossing Building and a new four storey glazed box at the back of the site (fronting High Street) which will offer both retail and office tenancies. The exterior of the new addition is shaded by bronze sunhoods that fall from the top of the ridgeline down to form the shopfront awnings.

The 630-space ‘Crossing Carpark’—which developers say will have the latest in parking access, control and security technology—will be the first stage for development along with the refurbishment of the existing buildings.

The remainder of the retail and commercial construction will follow and the development is intended to open in October 2016.