Hair salon owner finds new site
Blenheim's 2 Style Hair Design is the last tenant to evacuate the earthquake-prone building on the corner of Arthur and Queen streets.
Owner Michelle Bowler said the move had been a long time coming after all the tenants received notices outlining the two possible futures for the building - strengthen or demolish.
"We have to get out. They are looking at demolishing it. They still haven't decided whether they will demolish or strengthen."
The two-storey building is owned by two charitable trusts - the Sinclair Cummings Trust and the David Cummings Trust. Representative Peter Radich said no decision had been made yet on the future of the building.
"[It's] a situation that is still under consideration. It's waiting for us to make some decisions if it stays or goes.
"We are well under way with engineering."
Ms Bowler was told by the building owners in August last year that the building had been singled out as not being up to standard in terms of its ability to withstand an earthquake.
"The owners of the building have been really, really good to me. They let me stay here until I got myself sorted.
"I'm the last person standing, we are the last ones.
"It's taken a long time to get there. It's taken me five months.
"It's been hard. It hasn't been an easy thing. It's been really expensive. I love this little shop but it is time to move over."
She has been in the shop for more than 14 years and it holds a lot of special memories for her, Ms Bowler said.
"My dad passed away six years ago and he helped me repaint and things like that, so we've got lots of memories with this shop but we are making new memories and moving on."
She would open the doors to her new salon today, in the old Chequers building on Scott St.
Her new salon was three times the size of her Arthur St site and Ms Bowler had taken on two new staff members.
She couldn't have made the move without the help of her staff, she said.
"They have all gotten in behind me and they've all helped to put it together."
Tangoe's Shoes Handbags and Accessories had a store next to 2 Style Hair Design, but relocated to a new store on the corner of Queen and Charles streets in October.
Other former tenants, Alyssums and Balloons and Red Hot Fashions, moved out in 2011.
The building was identified by the Marlborough District Council as potentially quake-prone in 2011. Building owners were given five to 10 years to strengthen or demolish their buildings. The deadline for action on this building is mid-2018.
The Marlborough Express