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Major Surgery Needed On City Mall

29 March 2006

Major Surgery Needed On City Mall, Say Designers

The first step in the revitalisation of the City Mall starts this week with meetings to launch major surgery on the retail heart of Christchurch, says the Isthmus Group project design team appointed to redevelop the central precinct.

Isthmus Group director, Garth Falconer, said the design team and Christchurch City Council representatives will brief local business and property owners and present to the public at consecutive meetings on Thursday. "The meetings are a launch platform for the programme to save the City Mall. There is no question that urgent steps need to be taken, but in a deliberate and constructive manner involving all key stakeholders." Mr Falconer said the project team wanted to maximise input from local businesses and residents from day one of the expected 6-month design programme. "It is imperative we have a full and frank exchange of opinions before we start firming up on broad concepts".

"This is a great opportunity for businesses and the public to get involved from the beginning of this process," said Maurice Roers the Council's project manager. 'The Council is keen to engage with all the users and stakeholders over the consultation process to develop exciting concepts and options for the City Mall."

David West, a retail consultant from Adelaide and part of the Isthmus team, will also take part in the meetings and presenting information on development of malls in a world context. "The City Mall has the opportunity to fulfil its leadership status by attracting a unique mix of businesses and providing a high quality public space," said Mr West, when discussing the City Mall.

Mr Falconer said the project team was confident that its mandate to address the whole mall area, rather than individual parts of it, will produce a worthwhile result for the City.

Christchurch Mayor, Garry Moore is opening this meeting and will introduce, the recently appointed design team, lead by Mr Falconer. "The City Mall redesign will be positive for the economy of the City as a whole." Said Mr Moore "We urge everyone with an interest in the City Mall to attend the meetings and make a contribution to the revitalisation process."

The public meeting runs from 3pm to 5pm, Thursday 30 March, at Our City O-Tautahi, corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Boulevard. The workshop with local businesses runs before this meeting from 9am to 2.30pm in the same venue.


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