Christchurch’s Hotel Grand Chancellor stabilizes, may be demolished

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND The tilting 26-story Hotel Grand Chancellor is being stabilized so authorities can conduct a search and rescue mission following last week’s earthquake, but it is expected that the property will have to be demolished.

Meanwhile, a nearby Millennium & Copthorne hotel has been deemed unsafe for occupation, while another M&C property has been cleared to reopen.

In the hours following the February 21 earthquake, Christchurch authorities feared that Grand Chancellor—the city’s tallest building—would topple. It has not tilted any further, however it could be three weeks before the building is stable enough to enter. City officials have begun pouring concrete into moulds beside damaged walls in the ground floor foyer, which will be used to prop up the hotel so that steel jackets can be wrapped damaged columns.

Further building assessments will be conducted at a later date, but authorities say it is likely that the hotel will need to be demolished.

The nearby Millennium Christchurch has been cleared for reentry, but sibling property Copthorne Hotel Christchurch Central will require undetermined structural work before it is allowed to reopen. However, M&C officials say reports that the hotel would need to be demolished are inaccurate.