Abandoned Harington St site sold for $1

The Harington Street Transport Hub project was discontinued in June 2020. Photo. File Image.

The abandoned Harington Street Transport Hub site has been sold for just $1.

Tauranga City Council has 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.

The land value was previously assessed at $5.35 million in mid-2020. Council had already spent $19 million of an initial $29 million budget on the hub, but have been left having to take a hit on the troubled project.

“Had Council retained the site, it’s estimated that close to $10 million would have to be spent to demolish the existing structure and restore the site to a condition suitable for at-grade parking,” says TCC general manager infrastructure, Nic Johansson.

“That expense is no longer a factor, because the purchaser has undertaken to assume full responsibility for the property and the existing structure.”

Nic confirms that the new owners will assume responsibility for providing and maintaining at least 200 public car parking spaces in a new building on the site, or 95 at-grade spaces if the structure is demolished.

The Council is continuing to take legal action to recover wasted costs and other losses from the parties they consider responsible for the building’s design issues, as well as initiating a complaint against the building designer with Engineering New Zealand.

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SO the

Posted on 22-03-2021 22:39 | By The Caveman

(Councillors and council bureaucrats) have basically spent at least $20 MILLION of ratepayer money on the bit of dirt and steel - and have walked away with a $1 - YES ONE DOLLAR !!! Who of the councillors and council bureaucrats is accountable !!!!!!! SUNLIVE - Names Please !!!


Posted on 22-03-2021 19:59 | By Informed

$10m sounds very low by the time of all the compliance costs, scaffold, engineering, labour, cranes etc. Let’s hope that some of our rates can be recovered from the shoddy engineering companies that caused this failure. On the bright side, post COVID it’s not like we need the parking in the CBD now anyway.

Rates payer's money wasted again

Posted on 22-03-2021 19:24 | By Bruno

Yet another reason Council should stick with managing fresh water, waste water, rubbish collection, road ways, Pedestrian ways, cycle ways, and so on. Building development should be done by commercial enterprises.


Posted on 22-03-2021 18:19 | By dumbkof2

health and safety costs 9mil demo costs 500000 sale of steel 1 mil value of land 15mil net profit 7.5 mil


Posted on 22-03-2021 16:46 | By stephennel

How about everything went well with this project until some influential individuals complained about their view being obstructed?


Posted on 22-03-2021 15:58 | By Calm Gully

I still can’t understand how designers and builders and all the people who were paid bucket loads of money, aren’t responsible for the whole job. If you accept and are contracted to do the job, surely all the options are in place. Very sad state of affairs. Lemons like this should be a thing of the past. Crazy situation. Waste of rate-payers money.

Consultation with ratepayers?

Posted on 22-03-2021 15:55 | By gincat

Was it not last week council stated they would seek feed back on any future purchase or disposal of land? $10 million to demolish sounds way too high. What about the design engineers insurance? If insurance does not cover this, a blacklist should be complied for any future council work


Posted on 22-03-2021 14:54 | By hapukafin

Did I miss the tender call on this one too.Looks like the rate payers going to be out of pocket for a little bit.Agree with first two comments on price.No matter what H&S is involed straight scrap iron and land will still fill Walbops pocket

10 mill

Posted on 22-03-2021 14:41 | By Kancho

Think it will be a bigger job than you would think. A lot of health and safety issues, up against an apartment building etc. These days lots scaffolding , complete covering, huge amount of debris to shift. I m not surprised at the cost and it will take quite a while to get it down and away. It’s no longer 10 dollar Tauranga everything costs, try building a new home these days !


Posted on 22-03-2021 14:06 | By Told you

I’m with dumbkof2 how could it possibly cost $10 million to demolish this building,give me a gas axe and a crane, and it would be well gone in a week. What a gift.


Posted on 22-03-2021 13:17 | By dumbkof2

i don’t think it will cost the new owners anything like 10mil to demolish this building. would be interesting to know who asked 10mil todo this

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