Lower Hutt’s Queensgate and Wainuiomata Shopping Centre will remain closed for the remainder of this week while engineers continue their post-quake inspection. Both centres have been closed for business since the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Monday.
Queensgate mall owner Stride Property said that there was “no diminished capacity” to the structure of the buildings where the assessments have been carried out.
However, the inspections by Beca are still ongoing and any new updates will be released once the assessment.
Retailers who occupy the mall have also been given the go ahead to come and assess their stores, chief executive Peter Alexander said.
“Starting from today tenants will be contacted individually to arrange access to the areas of the centre that have been given clearance so that they can determine the necessary steps required for them to resume trading,” Alexander said.
“Centre management will work with them to assess any remediation work required and engineers will be available to provide advice as necessary. Once individual retailers have had the opportunity to assess their situation a more certain timetable for re-opening of the centre will be provided.”
The mall kept customers up to date with progress by editing a post on its Facebook page.
Parts of the centre have also suffered “superficial damage” from the earthquake and aftershocks, so repairs will have to be made on this before re-opening.
Queensgate is the largest enclosed shopping centre in the lower North Island, with over 180 tenancies occupying it.
Stride says the sheer scale of the mall makes examining every part a lengthy process.
There was no date given on when the mall would re-open.
Wainuiomata Shopping Centre has also remained closed the past week following the earthquake.
The centre issued a statement on its Facebook page to customers, saying “Wainuiomata Shopping Centre will be closed until at least Friday as further engineering tests are carried out on Thursday. The closure effects all shops and businesses including Countdown, The Warehouse, WINZ, McDonalds, Wainui cake kitchen, Coinsave, a1 Sushi, Visique and Beauty Solutions.”
It said as a way of helping out shoppers, Countdown was offering free delivery for online shopping until Monday to help the community get their groceries, as well as free bus services to and from outside the WINZ office to Countdown Petone.
The closures will no doubt be a blow to shopping centre owners and retailers alike in the busy Christmas shopping season.