Five Riccarton businesses closed

Posted 17 Feb 2012 by MediaStuff Popular
Posted in Business , Media
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A Christchurch business owner is worried he will lose his business and his home after engineers closed another Riccarton building over earthquake fears.

Five businesses at 111 Riccarton Rd were forced to close today after the building was deemed unsafe.

The affected businesses are Benjarong Thai Restaurant, Flight Centre Riccarton Rd, Harrington Showcase Jewellers, Le Lievre Manufacturing Jeweller and Sweet lolly shop.

Sweet owner Nat Cheyne said he received a phone call about 10.30am saying "we're coming to yellow-sticker and you won't be allowed back in the building".

"My problem is if it stays yellow, I'll lose everything because insurance won't pay out, whereas if it goes red they'll pay out and I can move on."

He signed the lease for his premises a day before last February's earthquake, and had battled for five months to get consents for the shop to open, he said.

Today's closure meant the fate of his business was in limbo until the fate of the building was decided.

"I [could] lose my house and 12 staff. I don't want to be in an unsafe building, but someone needs to make a decision."

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) operations general manager Warwick Isaacs said a red sticker would be put on the building as soon as possible.

However, it was not known how long it would take before a decision was made on whether the building could be repaired or would need to be demolished.

The building had been brought to Cera's attention by an engineer who was working on behalf of a business loss adjustor, and Cera engineers advised Isaacs yesterday that the building would have to be closed.

It was not known if other buildings would be closed in the same way, as there were "thousands" of buildings around the city that needed more assessment, and Cera "can't check every one, so we are relying on other engineers", he said.

The situation was different to that at Merivale Mall, where 20 shops were closed last week, because this building "has suffered some damage", he said.

The footpath alongside the building on Riccarton Rd would be cordoned off, but two-way traffic would be maintained.

Rotherham St on the other side of the building would be closed in one direction.


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