Work resumes on 150 townhouse development after contractor goes bankrupt
Builders are back on the site of a 150 townhouse development in central Wellington, after work halted when construction company Armstrong Downes went into liquidation.
Stephen Sutorius, whose company Thames Pacific is the developer of The Paddington development on Taranaki St, said the disappearance of Armstrong Downes had caused delays of three to four weeks and cost his company “several million”, but the buyers would not pay more for their new homes.
The contractors who returned to work on Tuesday were the same as those who worked under Armstrong Downes, but were now employed directly by Thames Pacific.
Stages two and three of ThePaddington are still under construction.
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Sutorius said the second stage, which contained 42 properties, should be ready for delivery by mid-June, subject to council approval.
The third stage, which contained 70 properties, would likely be completed sometime in September.
Wade Puata, a Capital Builds contractor working on the Jessie Street side of the development, said the development was “like a ghost town”.
“Guys who didn’t get paid didn’t show up, and that’s normal,” he said.
Puata said Capital Builds moved quickly to get staff paid and joked the shutout felt like a “two-week vacation.”
Sutorius said Thames Pacific would pay all contractors wages owed to them, and said the site was likely to be back up and running within weeks.
He said some contractors had taken on other small jobs elsewhere while the site was closed, but would return.
“We got the site back, we now have access to the site, we took it over from the main contractor,” Sutorius said.
“All the previous subcontractors were delighted to return.
“There is no risk for buyers, there is no increased cost for them.”
Armstrong Downes Commercial went into liquidation in early May.
There have been warnings that the industry is likely to see more liquidations in the near future.
Grant Thornton’s David Ruscoe and Russell Moore have been named liquidators of the 10-year-old company.