Christchurch’ Cashel Court has space to lease

8:10 PM Tuesday March 6, 2018 Alice Talbot

The new four-level building on Cashel Mall at 112 Cashel St, Christchurch. Photo / Stephen Goodenough.

Retail and office spaces in a new four-level mixed use building on Cashel Mall, Christchurch, are available for lease, offering the chance for businesses to be located in a laneway precinct in the heart of the CBD shopping area.

Cashel Court, at 112-116 Cashel St, occupies a prime position on the south west side of Cashel Mall bordered by Plymouth Lane to the west; and a new laneway which will run along the south side of the building between Ballantynes and Oxford Terrace.

Two ground floor, high-stud retail spaces are on offer, along with five office units spread across the first, second and third floors. All the tenancies are between 235sq m and 250sq min size. The building also includes an apartment on the third floor.

Denis Sunderland, the building’s owner and developer, says the retail spaces are ideal for fashion retailers, with a cafe also a possibility given the laneway location. He says professional services firms are among the tenants currently in discussions to lease the office spaces. 

The building’s frontages to three interconnected pedestrian spaces are considered a key benefit, says Sunderland. 

“It’s unusual for a smaller-scale building to have three sides open to lanes and pedestrian streets, so we were keen to make the most of this special position.”

Sunderland’s research into the best examples of vibrant, inviting laneways globally led him to cities including Melbourne, which inspired AW Architects’ final design for Cashel Court.

“There are some fabulous buildings in Melbourne and the laneways are such an important part of the fabric of the central city. It’s exciting to have had the opportunity to apply some of that inspiration here.”

A green wall on the Plymouth Lane side of the building contains seven native plant species, Sunderland says. “The plants are growing really well and it’s amazing how many people stop to look at it. It’s fantastic to have this lane as an exciting public place right alongside the building.”

Andrew Watson, managing director of AW Architects, says the design vision for the building was heavily based on its laneway location.

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The new building occupies a prime position on the south west side of Cashel Mall. Photo / Stephen Goodenough

“The two laneways as well as Cashel Mall meant we were able to design a building that connects directly with these pedestrian spaces, incorporating lots of ground floor glazing and doors opening to the lanes. It was a great opportunity to open up the facades of the building to allow interactions with the lanes both on the ground and upper levels.”

This was achieved through features including balconies on the upper levels to connect the office tenants with the lanes, along with perforated bronze-coloured screens made of anodised aluminium on the Plymouth Lane side. The screens have a dual purpose: providing shade to the west-facing interiors as well as creating a “shimmering skin that will play light into the lane”, says Watson.

Interaction with the street is also part of the design on the building’s north-facing Cashel St frontage, which includes vertical perforated bronze anodised aluminium fins set at contrasting levels to reference the site’s origin as two separate titles. Recessed balconies are also a feature of the Cashel St facade, along with the top floor apartment being set back to give the building a smaller visual scale. 

Basalt cladding and glass balustrades are additional features of the exterior, along with the green wall.

The new building and laneways reintroduce a vital smaller-scale environment to the western end of Cashel Mall, providing an important counterpoint to the other new, larger buildings in the precinct, Watson says.

“Cashel Court is a critical part of ‘regraining’ this corner of the city with smaller-scale buildings and spaces, and Plymouth Lane also provides an important link to the Justice Precinct to the south.”

Ryan Geddes, leasing agent at Savills Real Estate, says the building is located in an area that is now gaining increased attention from tenants.

“We now have a lot more certainty around construction activity in the southwest retail block of Cashel Mall,” says Geddes. “There is action now on key developments including the Peebles Group’s farmers market development as well as its building on the former Guthrey Centre site between Cashel Court and Ballantynes; add The Terrace to the mix and we’ve suddenly got a lot more buzz in this area.

“We’re now getting a lot more inquiries from tenants. With this being a prime location and with certainty now on the important development sites, we expect tenants to be queuing up for space.”