Satur­day d-day for Hy­dro

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

Ti­maru’s 105-year-old Hy­dro Grand Ho­tel build­ing, classed as a dan­ger to the pub­lic, will be de­mol­ished on Satur­day.

The dis­used three-storey build­ing stands on the cor­ner of Bay Hill Rd and Port Loop Rd, over­look­ing Caro­line Bay.

Hy­dro owner Al­lan Booth, who in­tends to build a $42m ho­tel, apart­ment and of­fice build­ing com­plex on the site, said prepa­ra­tions for the de­mo­li­tion would be­gin be­fore dawn.

De­mo­li­tion would be­gin about 8am, and the build­ing would prob­a­bly be ‘‘lev­elled’’ by late af­ter­noon, he said.

‘‘They’ll keep work­ing Sun­day,’’ Booth said.

Both roads would have one lane closed on Satur­day and Sun­day.

Heavy traf­fic head­ing to the port had been ad­vised to use the south­ern en­trance rather than Port Loop Rd, Booth said.

The green light was given for the de­mo­li­tion in Oc­to­ber af­ter the build­ing was of­fi­cially la­belled ‘‘dan­ger­ous’’ by the Ti­maru Dis­trict Coun­cil.

An in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sioner var­ied the terms of Booth’s re­source con­sent to al­low him to knock it down ahead of time.

A damn­ing fire re­port on the Hy­dro was re­leased in Septem­ber de­scrib­ing floors and stair­cases so dam­aged any­one walk­ing on them would run the risk of them col­laps­ing.

Re­tired fire risk man­age­ment of­fi­cer Kevin Collins said last year he had is­sued an in­ter­nal memo telling them not to go into the build­ing in the event of a fire.

‘‘This is only the third that I had is­sued in 45 years’ ser­vice,’’ Collins said.

Booth said he would ei­ther be on the site to watch the de­mo­li­tion on Satur­day, or would be watch­ing from his nearby of­fice ‘‘with a few beers’’.

‘‘Of course I’m ex­cited, I’ll be jump­ing up and down,’’ Booth said.

De­mo­li­tion com­pany Paul Smith Earth­mov­ing would be­gin the first prepa­ra­tions, mov­ing the bar­ri­cades around the build­ing, about 4am.

‘‘Then they’ll start pre­par­ing the out­side of the build­ing, lay­ing shin­gle and sand down on the cob­bles and the as­phalt,’’ Booth said.

Ma­te­rial would be carted away from the site next week.

Sur­round­ing busi­nesses are not ex­pected to be af­fected by the de­mo­li­tion, and Saikou Tep­pa­nyaki and Whisky bar owner Gavin Hamel said he would be open as usual on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

‘‘I know some peo­ple have ex­pressed some in­ter­est in the de­mo­li­tion and when it’s oc­cur­ring, pos­si­bly peo­ple who want a prime seat,’’ he said.

Un­der the terms of Booth’s re­source con­sent sev­eral items from the ho­tel have been sal­vaged to be reused in the new de­vel­op­ment, but no fur­ther pieces of the ho­tel can be taken away.

Items of ‘‘high her­itage value’’ that were res­cued in­clude a stair­well bol­lard and con­certina steel lift doors. on

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