The city council has no say in The Crossing car park charges, in spite of putting $28 million into the development.
The car park, which is part of the $140 million Carter Group development, opened before Christmas, while shops have started opening.
It costs $2 to park in the building for up to half an hour, $4 from 31mins to an hour, with an extra $2 every half hour thereafter. On the weekends it costs $6 for four hours.
There is a 60c credit card surcharge.
The city council put $28 million into the car park to boost off-street car park numbers to pre-quake levels.
City council finance and commercial general manager Carol Bellette said the Encumbrance instrument says the car park had to be “available for public use on a paying basis”.
The agreement said it had to contain no less than 534 car parks, and 65 per cent of them had to be short stay.
Noeleen Stewart said she would not park at The Crossing again because of the price.
She said it cost her and friend Helen Bowyer $16 to park there for about three-and-a-half hours.
She would rather take the bus, or park in city council on-street car parks.
Carter Group owner Philip Carter said the rates reflected the “commercial realities”.
“Ultimately this is about choice – people have the option of busing into the city and walking across the road to enter The Crossing, parking at any of Christchurch City Council’s car parking buildings or on-street metered parking, or paying a slightly higher charge to park on-site in the very heart of the city.”
He said the car park was part of The Crossing’s world-class shopping experience.
Alisha Duncan said she tried to park for less than 30mins so it would not cost any more than $2.
“It’s quite expensive for the length of time.”
Toni May paid $10 to park there for a couple of hours while in town with her daughter Laura.
“To be honest, convenience is number one,” she said.
“I was just relieved to get a park.”
Mr Carter said thousands went to H&M’s opening recently and the car park was full.