I got down to the newly opened City Mall on Cashel Street in the weekend. Prior to Feb 22, this area was being upgraded in readiness for the World Cup. It opened again last week as an up-market retail area built out of shipping containers.
The feedback in letters to the Christchurch Press had been mixed, but I have to say it looks wonderful. The buildings were intended to be temporary but I hope they reverse that decision. Indeed, I would declare the area a heritage site right away. If anyone is in town for cup week, do check it out.
PS There is a nice symbolism with the area being anchored by Ballantynes, the Christchurch retail institution whose building was one of the few on the street not demolished following the quake. There is an irony here as well. Ballantynes was rebuilt following the 1947 fire that used to be Christchurch's worst natural disaster. That may well be what saved the building from the event that has pushed the Ballantynes fire into second place.