37 Sophia St to come down this weekend

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Published: 01 Feb 2019

Work to remove the vacant earthquake prone building at 37 Sophia Street, between Harcourts and Copyfast, will begin on Saturday.

The car park, which has been closed since early January will reopen later in the year as a public car park.

The building was found to have a very low level of resilience in the event of a major earthquake.

Council Property Manager, Matt Ambler said that a detailed cost benefit analysis showed that the cost of bringing the building up to a minimum standard far outstripped any income that council could receive from leasing the space, so it was decided that the best approach would be to remove the building.

“We had looked at options to either strengthen the existing building or replace it with another one, but neither of these options provided an adequate financial return to ratepayers compared to demolition,” he said.

“In this case, the footprint of the building was small and the expected future returns from it wouldn’t cover the cost of remediation works. There is demand for leased parking in this area, so this was seen to be the best use of the space.”

The majority of the demolition work will be taking place on site over this weekend, the small part of Sophia Street and pavement adjacent to the works will be closed to traffic over the period of demolition.

Site clearance will be taking place over the following week, so there will be higher levels of heavy traffic than normal.

“As this building is in a busy part of town the building is being deconstructed in a very careful manner to reduce noise and dust, but there will be machinery working and vehicle movements from the site, so people should take increased care in the area surrounding the site,” said Matt.

The new car park will feature an increased number of available spaces and will offer a mixture of leased and casual paid for parking.

Alternative long stay parking is available at:

  • 140M away: Farmers Car Park, Sophia Street
  • 140M away: Library Car Park, Bank Street
  • 300M away: Barnard Street Car Park
  • 400M away: Cains Terrace Car Park
  • 650m away: Landing Services Car Park, Station Street

More information about parking in the Timaru District can be found here

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021