New look for mall

Work is under way on some big changes to New Brighton mall.

The old Westpac building is currently being demolished to make way for a new pedestrian walkway, which aims to bring more foot traffic into the mall.

Coastal Ward Christchurch city councillor Celeste Donovan said the building was purchased by council as part of the Oram Ave extension project and the work was on schedule.

"It's going to create a pedestrian corridor into the mall," Donovan said.

"And what that means is that you'll have more people coming into the mall and as the rest of the development goes ahead, hopefully that's starting next year, then you're going to see quite a different pedestrian mall, which is going to be pretty fantastic."

Diggers work to create a pedestrian corridor into the mall from Hawke St. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Diggers work to create a pedestrian corridor into the mall from Hawke St. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Donovan said, once completed, the walkway extension through to Hawke St will effectively cut the mall in half and condense New Brighton's commercial core from 11ha to 4ha.

This should mean fewer vacant buildings and existing spaces being put to better use.

"Mid to late next year, I think you should see some quite significant transformation," Donovan said.

"So it's just the beginning.

"But I think you're going to see what I think is the next chapter of the New Brighton mall being a destination for the rest of the city, and it'll be a great place for locals to visit as it already is."

She said the council will look to open up the site early next year with landscaping and further murals.

Further design work for New Brighton mall is also well under way, with the plans scheduled to go out for community consultation next year.

The demolition of the Westpac building should be completed by Christmas.

-By Geoff Sloan
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air