Christchurch continues to bolster its hospitality and retail offering with the opening of various central city precincts and centres. As more developments come online, visitors can expect a smorgasbord of shops and eateries, creating a central city unparalleled in its freshness and diversity.
Spending in the central city grew 13 per cent in January 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. Much of the spend growth in early-2019 was from our international visitors. Australian visitors spent 36 per cent more than the same period in 2018, as did other international visitors, also spending 36 per cent more.
Domestic visitors spent 14 per cent more in the central city in early 2019, compared to the same period in 2018, while Christchurch residents spent 13 per cent more.
Among the developments bringing life within the four avenues is The Terrace. This collection of buildings runs along a section of the Avon River, making the most of the open, green spaces and picturesque river bank scenes. The development opened the first of its many doors in early 2018.
The Terrace includes a range of dining options, from white table cloth and wine pairing to casual and contemporary. Offerings like Botanic cater to the high-end market, while pubs like Little Fiddle present a comfortable inner-city hang out. Amazonita and Chiwahwah fuse the best of global food trends, and Fat Eddie’s brings the beat with regular live music and a bustling 5pm drinks crowd.
Construction at the nearby Riverside Farmers Market is nearing completion, ready to welcome more than 70 boutique vendors within the four inter-connected buildings. The $80 million development will transform the southern end of Cashel Mall, next to the Avon River.
EntX opened in late-2018, a diverse food hall and the country’s most modern cinema. Downstairs is stacked with international eateries, cafes and stand-along restaurants, while Hoyts runs the upstairs. Alongside Tūranga library and The Terrace, as well as retail developments, EntX is credited with boosting central city spending. Dollars dished out at cafes and restaurants increased more than 20 per cent in early 2019, compared with the same period in 2018.
The Crossing continues to attract high-end retailers, largely based around the major tenant of H&M, which opened in late 2017. Ruby sells high street fashion, while restaurants like Cookai are attracting strong lunch and dinner crowds. Fresh Choice, across the street from the Bus Interchange, is credited with boosting grocery spending within the Four Avenues by 50 per cent.
SALT District has emerged as the gritty part of the central business district. Incorporating a large range of bars, restaurants, and retailers, SALT brings a genuine and organic nature to the city. Local favourite Smash Palace is undeniably the place to be for 5pm drinks on a Friday, while Little High bustles with hungry crowds on the daily. A new street-art mural is drawing crowds with its scale and trippy nature – find it on Evolution Square on Tuam St.
Nearby, shop spaces in the lower end of High St have begun to welcome tenants. A popular retail area for generations, central-city residents and visitors wait in anticipation as these restored-heritage spaces continue to fill up.
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Facts cheat sheet:
- Central-city spending was up 13 per cent in January 2019 compared to January 2018. Most of this increase was from international visitors, showing their value to the local economy.
- Farmers Market opens in late 2019 at the Avon River end of Cashel Mall, bringing more than 70 new retailers to the central city, including high-end stores Hugo Boss and Sergios.
- SALT District is emerging as the gritty part of town. Long-time heart of Christchurch, this area is filled with bars and restaurants marking the genuine central city. A new mind-bending mural is bolstering the area’s attraction for visitors and locals.
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