All clear for Porirua’s buildings - except one
The owners of a building in Porirua’s CBD that has been fenced off since the November 14 earthquake are saying they will take a cautious approach to it ever being re-tenanted.
The former James Smith building in Lydney Pl South, opposite the entrance to North City Shopping Centre, has been empty for some time.
Just days after the November 14 earthquake, owners Kiwi Property Group fenced off the property.
It has formerly housed Deka andT& TChildrenswear.
Fairfax Media reported in May that the building was up for sale, with Gollins Commerical agent Chris Gollins describing it as having ‘‘some seismic issues’’.
Kiwi Property general manager retail portfolio Karl Retief said the decision was made to completely vacate it and place fencing around it as a safety measure following the shake.
‘‘Engineers will go over it properly - we don’t want to take any silly chances,’’ he said.
‘‘We are typically cautious in a situation like this, with all our properties around New Zealand.’’
Retief said there were no confirmed plans for the building’s future, but insurance, designs and consenting work would happen in 2017 to bring it up to the right standard.
Meanwhile, Porirua City Council’s general manager policy, planning and regulatory services James Jefferson said ‘‘rapid assessments’’ were done on all CBD buildings after the earthquake and none were visibly seen to be a danger to tenants or the public.
Porirua came off well compared to Wellington and central Lower Hutt, he said, but the checking would go on.
‘‘As part of the new earthquake-prone legislation that came in this year there is a programme under way to carry out more detailed assessments around Porirua,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re preparing data at the moment and working with building owners to get all the information we need by about March.’’
Community resilience advisor for Wellington Region Emergency Management Office, Rebecca Jackson, said she was not aware of any damaged buildings in Porirua.
‘‘The key messages we’re trying to get to people now is to check their homes now, like piles and chimneys, and just be prepared,’’ she said.
The building on the corner of Lyndey Pl South is the only building in the city to be closed off after the November 14 earthquake.