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Christchurch’s The Hub Hornby snags top architecture award

The mall received the Award of Excellence, Best in Retail Category 2018, recognising its transformation into a mall of regional significance. Judging criteria included economic and financial factors, project innovation and vision, design and construction, owner and user satisfaction, and sustainability/efficiency of operation.

A group of private Christchurch investors bought The Hub Hornby 17 years ago through Shopping Centre Investments Ltd. otherwise known as SCIL. SCIL has approximately 200 shareholders, most of whom are local, and snapped up more shares when SCIL went to the market for a financial top-up in 2017.

Michael Keyse, SCIL chair, said the award was a wonderful way to celebrate the conclusion of its redevelopment. “This was the culmination of a period of long-term development which has seen the transformation of a depleted shopping centre to a mall of regional significance to the Christchurch environment and influenced the establishment of the adjacent and extended Hornby retail precinct.”

Keyse said, together with its private ownership, The Hub Hornby had several unique features that set it apart from other centres. “The mall has a very strong community focus and this is highlighted by its involvement in local charities, and the presentation of interesting themes including the recent success of a pet’s night. We were also impressed by its culturally significant art works, and its accreditation to the Enviro-Mark Gold standard. With the local composition of its governance board, the company is immediately attuned to its tenants and the local but rapidly growing demographic area it serves.”

The citation to the award describes The Hub Hornby as “being the new sustainable face of retailing. Aesthetically pleasing and highly functional, neutral, low maintenance materials allow the function of the centre to shine.”

The centre has changed dramatically since it first opened in 1976. At that time, it was the third major shopping complex in Christchurch, and the first fully-enclosed and air-conditioned mall in the South Island. Since then, it has seen many changes, with major expansions in the 1990s and, most recently, a $75 million multi stage expansion that began in 2012 and was completed earlier last year. Today, more than 130,000 customers visit the centre each week.

Keyse said the national award recognised and affirmed The Hub Hornby as one of a number of new and exciting developments that are now taking place within Christchurch.

“The Hub Hornby is extremely proud that its contribution, based on self-help and local enterprise, was the very first of these construction initiatives.”

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