Meet You At The Crossing
As redevelopment in the CBD reaches a new milestone with the opening of The Crossing, Cityscape checks out the central city’s largest private development and swanky new shopping hub.
Channelling some serious Melbourne swag with its network of stylish laneways and air bridges, the architecturally forward shopping destination The Crossing, situated on a one hectare block at the heart of Cashel, Colombo, High and Lichfield Streets, marks a much needed turning point in Christchurch’s inner city redevelopment.
With a tagline announcing ‘The City Starts Here’, glittering glass windows, and an iron and concrete industrial-chic-tinged aesthetic, the $140 million shopping and lifestyle centre is a hybrid of cutting-edge new build and restored heritage buildings. The combination ensures part of the city’s history remains while the new precinct simultaneously marches into the future with up to 14,000 square metres of retail and hospitality space, offices, and also (conveniently!) its own 630 car parks onsite.
Local style-hounds are likely particularly excited with the strong collective fashion focus among the first wave of openings, including a number of exciting, brand new retail options for the city, and more to come too including some exciting (read: hush-hush) hospitality options. Among the newly opened stores you’ll find the first South Island outlet of overnight-queue-creating international Swedish clothing giant H&M (which, in a New Zealand first, also includes their H&M Home range), a new flagship South Island store for Australian retailer Seed Heritage, the South Island’s largest Country Road store (which also includes their popular Country Road Home line), and the first South Island store for Trenery. Additional landmark retail offerings include Witchery, IvyBlu, Stirling Women, Ruby, Bourbon Rose and Andrea Biani, which join glam supermarket experience FreshChoice City Market and many more high profile brands. There’s even the chance to leave with a cleaner car than you arrived with, thanks to the handy opening of the first car grooming service in the central CBD, Espresso Carwash.
“The Crossing heralds the return of the central city as a destination for shopping and socialising,” says developer Philip Carter. “From the outset we deliberately set out to build a world-class shopping experience, so we’ve strived to ensure that we introduce a strong sense of style into the heart of our CBD.”
If you’re in to check it out you’ll want to make sure you have a good look at not only the building’s distinctive bubble screen feature, but also Paul Dibble’s restored 2008 sculpture piece Sleepwalker, which has been cantilevered over Kettlewell Lane. With The Crossing such a significant part of the CBD rebuild, the artwork has an earthquake story of its own to tell.
“The Sleepwalker sculpture is particularly personal to me,” says Carter, who’s responsible for restoring the famous artwork after it tumbled 100 metres down a Sumner cliff during the 2011 earthquake. “It’s a symbol of what we’ve overcome: we’ve survived the biggest natural disaster Christchurch has seen and walked through to the other side as a stronger community.”
Carter has also given the city a heads-up by confirming a host of additional high-profile local and international retailers will continue to open progressively at The Crossing over the next few months. In particular you should look out for some seriously sweet eats to join the party soon, helping to make the precinct a truly complete day-out experience.
“We want to set the benchmark for retail and hospitality in post-earthquake Christchurch. For us, it’s all about bringing our community back together.”
Alongside a few wild cards, expect to see Dry & Tea, Rodd & Gunn, NYX Professional Makeup, ASB, and Andrea Moore opening soon.