Reading's $20m development faces delays

Last updated 09:51 08/03/2014
Reading Courtenay

COUNTING DOWN: An artist's impression of the proposed new Countdown in Wakefield St, behind the Reading complex.

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A major redevelopment of the Reading Courtenay Central Entertainment Complex has been delayed by complications caused by last July's 6.5 magnitude quake.

Work on the development, to include a large new Countdown supermarket behind the cinema complex, was to have started about now, with a completion date set for June next year.

But the quake, which hit just over a month after the plans were announced last year, damaged the Reading complex car park and put it out of action.

US-based Reading International chief financial officer Andrzej Matyczynski said the quake had slowed down the project but it was still progressing. They were still gathering all the information required before they made their insurance claim on the car park.

It was going to take millions to fix, but the company was still deciding what level of quake protection was required before it was repaired.

"We are working with as much speed as possible to reopen the car park as soon as we can.

"But we can't afford not to make the right decision as we wouldn't want to be in a situation where we have to close it again in a few months."

Car parking would be an integral part of the supermarket development but there had been no discussions about demolishing and rebuilding.

Meanwhile, Reading was in the final stages of getting resource consent from Wellington City Council for the redevelopment.

Council spokesman Clayton Anderson said draft conditions of the consent had been sent to the developer and they were waiting to hear back from them.

Matyczynski hoped work would start in the next five or six months and the company was in the process of appointing a development manager, quantity surveyors and a construction company.

The car park closure and the redevelopment were major issues for Reading, as Courtenay Central was one of the company's best projects and it was time to make it better, he said.

Last May the redevelopment was estimated to cost $20 million. The plan includes construction of a 3870 square metre Countdown supermarket behind the cinema complex on the site now used as a ground level car park facing Wakefield St.

Reading also plans to update and reconfigure the present complex to integrate Countdown and add new tenants.

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- The Dominion Post

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