A popular Dunedin cafe was paid almost $700,000 by the council to close its doors.
Side-on announced its Moray Pl business was coming to an “abrupt end” after more than a year of negotiations with the Dunedin City Council.
The council needed the business to close before starting critical repairs to water pipes amid fears of a sinkhole.
A council spokesman told the Otago Daily Times yesterday it had paid out $695,000 to the cafe’s owners to end its lease.
The council paid $1.775 million to buy the building last year, for the purposes of connecting pipes between Bath St and Moray Pl.
Side-on had a lease until 2034, and the council had purchased the remainder of that lease, the council spokesman said.
“We recognise Side-on is a much-loved cafe, and we worked with the owners on various options for an alternative venue during our negotiations.
“While the cafe will now close instead, we wish the owners well for any new venture in 2024.
“This agreement allows for work to proceed as quickly as possible on the replacement of old and failing pipes under Bath St,” the spokesman said.
The project had been particularly challenging from an engineering perspective, and time had been an important factor, he said.
It had investigated alternative pipe routes as part of its planning, but “almost all routes” had to pass under private property in Bath St at some stage.
The only other option was to run the new pipe along…