23 May 2021

Car park sold for $1 could cost council millions after failed build

7:21 pm on 23 May 2021

Tauranga City Council is still trying to recover millions of dollars spent on a failed car park after selling its prime central city site for $1.

The Harington Street transport hub under construction in Tauranga.

The Harington Street transport hub. Photo: Supplied

The council got rid of the Harington Street site earlier this year to avoid having to shell out another $7m demolishing the multi-storey car park.

It was meant to be a key project to help rejuvenate the city centre, but the $29m car park was only partially built when multiple serious seismic defects were discovered.

"Legal action to recover wasted costs relating to the Harington Street car park is ongoing," the council said.

"The action is against the building designer and the design peer reviewer."

The designers were structural engineers.

The intent was to recover "as much as possible" of the $20.5m ploughed into the project, the council said.

It had earlier costed a demolition option, or an option to rebuild it which would have pushed costs north of $60m.

The site was bought for $1 to a subsidiary of the lead project contractor.

The council lodged complaints with Engineering New Zealand (ENZ) against the designers.

RNZ has asked ENZ what it has done about the complaints.

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