A new national distribution centre has been completed for quake-hit retailer Kathmandu in Christchurch.

In a move which many saw as a big business showing faith in the city, the retailer last week took possession of a Woolston warehouse only slightly smaller than a football field.

The company's existing centre received minor damage in last February's earthquake and the business announced that while it was in working order, the old lease was due to expire and with limited space available for the growing company it made sense to move to bigger premises.

Last year, Kathmandu announced a 10-year deal to lease a building in a new development.


David Mortimer, chief executive of Arcus Developments, said yesterday the 5000sq m building by Arrow International was finished a month ahead of schedule at the Portlink Industrial Park, 30ha of greenfields land near Lyttelton Port being developed by Arcus.

Kathmandu's new building will pump goods into 41 stores throughout New Zealand and the business expects it to meet the demands of future growth.

The retailer took a long-term lease on the building, which was handed over to Kathmandu on Thursday last week.

Senior executives of Arrow and Kathmandu, Mortimer and Christchurch Central Development Unit director Warwick Isaacs attended.

Mortimer said the new building was a sign of hope.

"Canterbury needs this type of development offering long-term investment, in particular post-earthquake, and we are delighted that the Kathmandu board has selected our eastern Christchurch location for their state-of-the-art warehousing facility," he said.

"We are confident in the future of Portlink, given the growth of the thriving Port Hills industrial area in the past decade.

"This has drastically changed the area's landscape with mixed industrial and third party logistics operators moving as close as possible to the port, which is itself undergoing development," he said.

"An additional and significant factor is that the land at Portlink, plus the immediate surrounding industrial area, has been largely unaffected by any seismic activity so we are already seeing other developments proposed for this eastern location," Mortimer said.