In April 2022, the Mayor and Councillors approved $5 million to earthquake-strengthen the building so it could be safely reopened for public use. The project is deep into the planning phase and earthquake-strengthening work is expected to take about two years. Status: Planning
NPDC closed the 268-space Downtown Car Park in December 2020 after it was found to be earthquake prone.
A detailed seismic assessment report classed the building as “high risk” because it met 20 to 34 per cent of the new building standards (NBS) brought in since the Christchurch earthquakes.
The seven-storey car park, which fronts on to Powderham Street, was built in the late 1980s in line with the standards and building codes of the time.
In April 2022, the Mayor and Councillors approved $5 million to earthquake-strengthen the building so it could be safely reopened for public use.
The project is deep into the planning phase and earthquake-strengthening work is expected to take about two years.
We’ll wait and see what demand is like closer to the time and make a decision then.
The building was built in in the late 1980s in line with regulations at the time, but standards since the 2011 Christchurch earthquake are much higher.
The staircases, ramps and parts of the structure like the connections between the floors and support columns.
Yes, NPDC closed the building and put up the required warning signs.
It’s important to note that this building was built in the late 1980s and met the standards of the time. The new standards brought in after the Christchurch quakes are much higher and NPDC is taking no risks with public safety.
We received the detailed assessment in November 2020 and looked at our options. We chose to close it as soon as it was clear this was the safest option.
The new building standards since the Christchurch quakes have required owners around the country to reassess the safety of their buildings.
The detailed seismic assessment was done by WSP, an independent company with experts in architecture and engineering.
No, the law applies equally to everyone and we always put safety first.
Each building owner has to make their own decision within the law. The car park is very different from most other affected buildings. We’ve studied the risks outlined in the seismic report and decided that safety comes first.
It made about $315,000 (TBC) a year.
Only money they’ve already paid.
NPDC received the detailed seismic assessment report on 9 November 2020 and we acted with urgency.
We wanted to consider its future once we’d created our City Centre Strategy and before committing millions in ratepayers’ money to the work. This would help guide us in how the building and the site fit the development of the CBD over the next 30 and what will be the best use of ratepayers’ money.
We can’t speculate on legal issues, but we’re putting safety first and that’s why we’re closing the building.
NPDC buildings considered within the safe threshold (67 per cent of the new building standards) are:
Downtown Car Park is only the second NPDC building after the New Plymouth Water Treatment Plant on the national register of earthquake-prone buildings. Some other NPDC buildings are awaiting a detailed seismic assessment.
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Page last updated: 12:16PM Mon 27 March 2023