All clear for Porirua’s build­ings - ex­cept one

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

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.

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