ARCADE PLANS: Developers hope to open The Tannery shopping arcade in Woolston this spring.
Old Victorian tanneries will become part of a new shopping precinct in Christchurch.
The $7 million Woolston shopping arcade, called The Tannery, aims to offer high fashion and art retail and will be developed by businessman Alisdair Cassels.
It will be joined to his restaurant, The Brewery, and it will keep the old architectural details of the tanneries, including the rafters and the old brick facade, which will be strengthened to current safety and earthquake standards.
The site was launched yesterday by Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, MPs Nicky Wagner, Eugenie Sage and Ruth Dyson and former MP Jim Anderton.
Dave Adamson, who has lived in the area for 41 years, said he was thrilled about the project.
"This area has been ignored for so long. People keep going on about the Avon, but this [the Heathcote River] is where it all began. It was the lifeblood of Christchurch and it's finally being recognised as such,'' he said.
"Now with the CBD down, the focus of the city is shifting. Business will come here and boost the area."
The precinct will have at least 30 retail spaces, and Cassels said 16 tenants were already confirmed, with 10 others committed.
It is expected to open in spring.