A chapter has closed on Tauranga's multi-million dollar transport hub blunder with sale of the site for $1.
Tauranga City Council confirmed that it has reached an unconditional agreement to sell the abandoned Harington St Transport Hub site.
This was sold to Waibop (Harrington) Limited, a subsidiary of the lead project contractor, Watts and Hughes Construction Group Holdings Limited.
The agreement covers the sale of the site for $1; sale of unused materials and structural steel purchased for use in the building; and a negotiated settlement for the cancellation of the construction contract.
This resulted in the council being paid $200,000.
The council's infrastructure general manager Nic Johansson said that while the sum realised was considerably less than the site's land value (assessed at $5.35 million in mid-2020), it nevertheless offers the best possible outcome for the city, both financially and in the provision of future carparking capacity on the site.
"Had Council retained the site, it's estimated that close to $10 million would have to be spent to demolish the existing structure and restore the site to a condition suitable for at-grade parking," he said.
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"That expense is no longer a factor, because the purchaser has undertaken to assume full responsibility for the property and the existing structure and provide and maintain at least 200 public car parking spaces in a new building on the site, or 95 at-grade spaces if the structure is demolished."
The purchaser will also be responsible for obtaining all regulatory approvals needed to demolish, or partially demolish and redevelop the existing structure, and ensure that the property remains safe, pending any new development on the site.
Construction of the 550-carpark building was discontinued in June 2020, following expert advice that the cost of addressing the building's seismic design deficiencies would be prohibitive.
In October last year, Council elected members provisionally approved the demolition of the structure, pending the outcome of negotiations on another potential option for the future of the site.
Those negotiations have now been completed and the property title transferred to the new owner on 19 March.
The council is pursuing legal action in relation to the building.