25 Feb 2019

Chance for Courtenay Central complex tenants to move on

3:14 pm on 25 February 2019

Tenants based in Wellington's Courtenay Central complex have been told they can end their contracts, because it is unclear when the building will re-open.

Street view of Reading Cinemas and the shops outside Courtenay Central complex in Wellington.

The third floor of Courtenay Central could be at risk in an earthquake. Photo: Google Maps

It was closed by Readings on 5 January, when it was identified issues on the building's third floor meant it was at risk in an earthquake.

Tenants were told they could end their contracts last week. Those spoken to by RNZ said while it was disappointing, they understood there was a safety issue.

Grill Republic's Clark Figracion said while he was gutted when the complex closed, Readings had not collected money from the business for rent since.

He said if there was a safety issue, he was fine with the situation. Meanwhile, the food outlet had opened another store in Johnsonville.

The issues with the third floor were not a result of damage from the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake. Then, the complex was closed over fears the parking building behind it could collapse. That parking building was demolished.

The city council, like Readings, was waiting for the engineer's report to be finished, the council's business relations manager Phil Becker said.

Readings only needed to tell the council the result of the report if there was a public safety issue, which he said was unlikely as the building was empty.

"One of the points Readings have made to us, [is] they've done all they can to ensure public safety is being addressed while they go through the various processes to work out what they need to do to address the future of the building."

Readings would not comment, but had said in the past the safety and wellbeing of its patrons, employees, and tenants was of utmost importance, and it had taken an "abundance of caution" in closing the building last month.

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