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The new Lichfield Street parking building will open in the spring – Photo courtesy of Christchurch City Council Newsline

Popular Christchurch parking building to open in the spring

Work is continuing apace to open the Lichfield Street Car Park in central Christchurch in early spring, which is great news for city shoppers.

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Project director Lee Butcher says the dismantling of the big tower crane that was a feature on the city’s skyline for several months marks a real milestone for the project. “It means the structure is finished – all the walls, floors, steel, lights and most of the services are in.”

The next and final stage, he says, is to complete the internal fitout and apply the external cladding. “By the end of September we will have all the lighting, including the car park guidance system that shows drivers where available parks are, and all the technology in and ready to go,” Mr Butcher says.

When the car parking building opens, it will bring 805 new parking spaces to the central city, including 24 disability parking spaces and 10 charging parks for electric vehicles. A bike stand on the ground floor, at the corner of Lichfield Street and Plymouth Lane, will have space for 96 bikes.

The building has been future-proofed to allow more electric charging bays to be added as more people use electric vehicles.

Complete makeover

The Lichfield Street Car Park, with its easy access to Ballantynes, the Guthrey Centre and City Mall, has always been popular with city shoppers. “This building is a very different type of construction than we had before the quakes,” Mr Butcher says. “It still has the access to Ballantynes that shoppers loved, but also incorporates technology to make finding a park easier, there are more lifts and pay points, and the ground floor will be home to seven retail and hospitality businesses.”

The upgrade of Plymouth Lane, which runs along the western edge of the car park from Lichfield Street to Cashel Street and City Mall, has been included in the contract works.

“Before the quakes, Plymouth Lane was a dark and dingy, cold and windy alleyway that was not well used,” Mr Butcher says. “We’re giving it a complete makeover so that it will be a light, open, safe area to walk through, with access to the car park’s ground-floor retail and hospitality businesses and nice places to sit.”

A time capsule containing objects and messages from children at St Michael’s Church School will be buried in Plymouth Lane and marked with a plaque. 

Mr Butcher says the external cladding is coloured panels, which will give the building a bit of pizazz. “It will look modern and inviting,” he says. “I’m sure it will be just as well used as it was before the quakes, if not more so.”

The building is expected to fully open in October this year.


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