More safety checks before Kmart opens

Kmart is now expected to open on Thursday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Kmart is now expected to open on Thursday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

Building inspectors need to carry out further safety checks at Queenstown's new Kmart site the day before its planned opening to confirm whether it is ready for public use.

Nationwide firm Dominion Constructors Ltd was issued with a 'Notice to Fix' by the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) in late August, after a worker cut through vital steel bars connecting the concrete wall panels and foundations of buildings on the Frankton Flats site.

Remedial works at the Queenstown Central retail complex development, which the council ordered Dominion to begin last month, needed to address problems with two buildings on the site.

The council needed to approve the works before any buildings on site could be authorised for public use.

QLDC building control inspections team leader, Jonathan Shaw, said the works were "progressing well'' following a visit to the site today, but a further inspection would be needed on Wednesday afternoon.

"Further documentation in support of structural work is to be supplied to QLDC, and following the Wednesday inspection, we will determine whether a Certificate of Public Use (CPU) can be issued," he said.

"It is important to note issuing of a CPU is not solely centred on structure; it deals with the overall building being safe for public use and this involves everything from access, fire and life safety to accessible facilities.

"Factors taken into account for safety of the public include, and in this case are, areas where work is currently being undertaken on site.''

Construction delays have hindered the project and caused a number of tenants looking to take over premises to have their store fit-out dates moved back.

The 4000sq m Kmart store was originally meant to open on October 4 but was now due to open on Thursday, depending on whether the council approves the remedial works in time.

The $100 million first stage of the retail centre would include about 45 tenants.

Kmart declined to comment on the matter, with a spokeswoman directing questions to Dominion.

Dominion's South Island construction boss Grant Thomas could not be reached for comment today.

Simon Holloway, spokesman for Queenstown Central, has also been contacted for comment.


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