Legal action on failed parking building ongoing
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 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 says.
"The action is against the building designer and the design peer reviewer."
The designers were structural engineers.
The intent is to recover "as much as possible" of the $20.5m ploughed into the project, the council says.
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.
Back in March, Tauranga City Council reached an unconditional agreement to sell the site to Waibop (Harrington) Limited - a subsidiary of the original lead project contractor, Watts and Hughes Construction Group Holdings Limited.
The agreement covers the sale of the site, which was due to become a 550-capacity carpark building.
Unused materials and structural steel purchased for use in the building, plus a negotiated settlement for the cancellation of the construction contract, results in a final payment to Council of $200,000.
Construction began on the seven-storey transport hub in June 2018. By May of 2019, however, council was informed of construction issues and in July of the same year advised there was a potential issue relating to seismic design strength.
The building has sat abandoned since work on the site was suspended in September 2019.
An engineering design review confirmed the structure design did not meet the required standard of seismic resistance.
The construction project was discontinued in June 2020.
Tauranga Council lodged complaints with Engineering New Zealand against the designers.
RNZ has asked ENZ what it has done about the complaints.