Demolition preparation work begins at Lower Hutt's Queensgate mall
Demolition preparation work has started at Lower Hutt's Queensgate Shopping Centre.
The carpark building and Event Cinema complex at the Lower Hutt mall will be pulled down, after they sustained structural damage during the deadly November 14 earthquake.
This means about 70 stores – almost half of the mall's retailers – will remain closed in the leadup to Christmas.
Heavy machinery has been brought to the Waterloo Rd side of the mall, and a gravel 'pad' is being prepared on top of the road.
* Car park building and cinema at Queensgate Mall in Lower Hutt will be demolished
* Queensgate Mall partially reopens
* Mall reopening date may be pushed back a day
* Parking chaos in Lower Hutt with two buildings closed
* Lower Hutt's Queensgate Mall partially reopens amid collapse fears for section of carpark
A Hutt City Council spokeswoman said the demolition plan has not yet been signed off, and it was unlikely that any parts of the carpark or affected building would be pulled down on Thursday.
Last week, Peter Alexander, chief executive of Queensgate manager Stride Property, said he was busy working with experts to plan the demolition.
On Friday afternoon, Hutt City Council ordered the owner of Queensgate, Diversified NZ Property Trust, to take "any necessary action" to remove the building at the northeast corner of the shopping centre.
Part of the car park has been closed since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
The building comprises the cinema complex and 300 car parks below.