Copthorne to be gone by month's end

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 16:00 09/11/2011
Copthorne
JOSEPH JOHNSON/The Press

GOING, GOING: Copthorne Hotel Christchurch City, on Durham St, is expected to be razed by the end of the month.

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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The demolition of central Christchurch's quake-damaged Copthorne Hotel is expected to be complete by the end of the month.

More than $5 million of repairs had been planned for the Copthorne Hotel Christchurch City, on Durham St, after the September 4 earthquake.

However, the 11-storey hotel suffered further damage in the February 22 earthquake and Leighs Engineering was awarded the contract to demolish the building on July 21.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) had initially considered using explosives to bring down the hotel, but the risk of damage to other buildings meant conventional demolition using cranes and excavators had been chosen instead.

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels New Zealand managing director BK Chiu said he believed the demolition would be completed by the end of November.

The decision on what would happen next with the Durham St site depended entirely on the hotel's owners, who were investors from Singapore, he said.

"They are aware of the Christchurch vision - the plans, the height restrictions, the parking restrictions."

The investors would not make any decisions until new regulations and building standards had been finalised, he said.

"It's very hard to make decisions yet."

The chain was still waiting for engineering reports for it's two other hotels in central Christchurch.

Chiu said the Millennium Hotel in Cathedral Square was believed to be repairable, but an engineers report was still required.

"We are quite eager to get information, it's been a long time, [but] I assume Cera's got it's priorities."

The Copthorne Hotel on Colombo St was also waiting for engineer and geotech reports.

"There's a lot of things that still have to be done. Insurers will have to look at whether it's repairable, how long it will take and what it's going to look like. You can repair it with a whole lot of steel beams, but no one wants to stay in a prison."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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