How not to rebuild a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD….. apply for Building Consent/Resource Consent…

Hell’s teeth, there must be a better way of finishing this damn building.  My advice to any Heritage Building owner in the country is:  Don’t even consider repairing your building. Certainly not under the conditions of an emergency repair like we have had to face.  The bureaucracy is endless and getting more expensive by the minute. It is not worth it.  Either pull it down or walk away. (There do not appear to be any penalties for walking away, as has been clearly shown in Christchurch).

We are finally on the last leg of a very slow and long process.  The rebuild of a toilet block. 18sq metres.  Last week I applied for an Amended Building Consent to demolish/rebuild our very old not too flash “lean-to” toilet block.

It is a 1930’s – 1940’s classic New Zealand lean-to.  (Think third world). We suspect it was built by the apprentices of the Butcher who previously owned the building (Franklin).

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Off to one side of this very attractive structure is a very old toilet.  I will not embarrass ourselves by showing you the photo.

Anyway,  not only do you have to apply for an amended building consent to build a new toilet block, you get to be really lucky if you own a “rare” Heritage Building in Christchurch, (and I can safely say that, as CERA pulled them all down, there are not many left)   you also have to apply for a Resource Consent.  (To prove that you are not destroying precious history.   She says with a smirk on her face).

So……

I have just been issued with a Section 37.  Well,  I suppose that is a change from the Section 38 that CERA gave us in 2011.  ( A section 38 is “Make safe” issued by the Government).

When I had finished laughing about the Section 37, I see that it is a DO NOT Demolish or proceed with any building work.   The irony, with the Section 37, is that it comes with an expensive price tag of a minimum of $1200 for a non notified resource consent and up to $7500 for a notified consent. I have yet to figure out which one the powers that be will charge me.  Note:  received a preliminary Invoice today 25/8/16 of $2500 (5% of the total build cost of this toilet block)  This is as close to extortion as you can get.  Note to self:  I should not have propped it up and I should have demolished it earlier like every other building owner in the city did.

Section 37: Chapter 9 Natural and Cultural Heritage: 9.3 Historic Heritage: Rule – 9.3.3.2.3 Restricted Discretionary Activities – Heritage Items and Heritage Settings – High Significance (Group 1) and Significant (Group 2)
The proposed works for the demolition and construction of an addition are within the heritage setting for the Duncan Buildings a listed significant Building (Group 2) and these works will require consideration as a discretionary activity.

So which one do I obey? The original Section 38 to make the area safe or the new Section 37 to NOT make the area safe.  Hope someone makes up their mind soon before the structure falls down.  In fact, if I undo that prop on the back wall I won’t have a problem will I ??   tempting..   One more shake should do it for me…..

The sad thing about all this is that they are chucking all the hurdles they can in our way, while the rest of the absentee owners surrounding us have walked away and abandoned their properties.  In 6 years neither CERA/CCDU/Otakaro/CCC  have made any attempts to deal with this issue.

The Law really is an ass.

Crazy city, totally messed up.

p.s. have a look at this video clip about:

Christchurch Dilemmas: How to rebuild the city’s heart video

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/83394208/christchurch-dilemmas-how-to-rebuild-the-citys-heart

I was at a meeting where James Lunday spoke in 2011,  he basically said then that they were stuffing the city up by pulling everything down. How right he was. He also told CERA to naff off in no uncertain terms. (sanitized version)  (It was a pleasure to watch then and still brings a grin to my face now 6 years later).

“Urban designer James Lunday visited the red-zoned central city immediately after the earthquakes in 2011 and has been returning to Christchurch in the years since. He sees the rebuild as a huge opportunity for the city.”

He also comments that “We’re still building a 20th century city – built for the car, wide streets, and no activity.” 

He is so right!

PPS:  It is flaming near impossible to get into High Street at the moment, it is a shame that we were hoping to open up our pop up shop in the first week of september.  FultonHogan/CCC are yet to give me an expected finish date.  Do not hold your breath…..

 

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Note: The reappearance of the historic tram tracks.  Do you reckon they got a Resource Consent to take them out????  I doubt it.

 

 

 

 

 

How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD, High Street Saga gets ugly…

My Gosh the saga continues, now the truth starts to come out.

I had prepared a blog weeks ago regarding this issue, which I have just had to trash as this latest Press article is a beauty.  I had been told many months ago that some Christchurch developers had been trying to delay development in this area, but the truth was even nastier than I thought.

It is a shame that I had to read about it in the Press.  The lack of communication with Otakaro Ltd on an issue that definitely effects our lively hood is slightly disturbing. A continuation of the status quo I am afraid.

I take my hat off to the Press and Nick Truebridge for pulling the OIA documents, which I need to work through carefully.  I will let you know if I find anything interesting.

I have always strongly suspected that the Duncan’s Buildings sale for redevelopment was deliberately stalled by CERA/CCDU  and I may never get an answer to this unsubstantiated accusation.  It may have been bureaucratic inefficiency  who knows, without pulling further documents it may remain forever murky.

The Press article points out that the delays were certainly not minimised by a group of self-serving, wealthy, Christchurch business owners. (With rather obvious links to the CCDU’s Warrick Issacs).

I think this group of leading “High-profile Christchurch developers” should hang your heads in shame.

A number of building owners in the Duncan’s Block, who have been attempting to do the right thing, await a public apology from you all… I have just seen hell freeze over.

Not only did you attempt to further stall development and recovery for the city  (and a number of small building owners, who you obviously don’t give a toss about) you have embarrassed yourselves publicly.

The Hall of shame awaits you.images.jpg

Documents released under the Official Information Act show developers Philip Carter and Antony Gough were among those who wrote to Crown company Otakaro urging it not to sell the High St Duncan’s buildings directly to Richard Peebles and his associates.

Also involved was: “Guthrey suggested a five year moratorium should be placed on the property sold that it not be developed for retail” and the “National Party board member Roger Bridge, also involved in the legal action, wrote to the Crown expressing interest in buying the land, but said he had no prior knowledge of Peebles’ interest.”

5 years ?  gosh we have already waited 6 years and you wanted to stall us another 5 years?  nasty…

I also notice that there was a letter from “Ballantynes” that has been withheld from the OIA documents, 10 June 2016.

Link Here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/82968307/highprofile-christchurch-developers-spoke-out-against-sale-of-crowns-high-st-property-to-rival

Interestingly there was no mention of this issue in the OIA documents I received regarding the Duncan’s Buildings a number of weeks ago.  Obviously the wrong questions were asked.

I congratulate Otakaro Ltd,  Albert Brantley CEO on his decision to allow the sale of the Duncan’s Buildings to proceed.  It is a pragmatic decision, that takes into account the needs of the entire city, it considers Heritage aspects and regeneration of this area.  (As well as a few small building owners in this area who have stuck their necks way too far out).    Thank You.

Oh well, what a beautiful cold Christchurch day.  I hope this group of men choke on their coffees this morning as they read the Press.

P.S.  11.8.16  It looks like peace is about to break out: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/83064472/developers-close-to-resolution-over-high-st-legal-challenge

I note that Christchurch Heritage Trust chairwoman  Anna Crighton made a pertinent remark in The Star 11/8/16:  “Those buildings, apart from the few that are privately owned, have been languishing there since the earthquakes and nobody bothered about them until Richard Peebles picked them up and decided to do something about them. Now all of a sudden other people want to buy them as well.  Well everybody had a good chance many years ago”.      A very relevant comment.

I look forward to seeing the street restored to its former, bohemian, Left-bank glory!

Incidentally here are a few of the latest High Street links:  Now a tad redundant!

NICK TRUEBRIDGE,  July 5 2016,  in the Business day section of the Press.  http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81764209/high-st-master-plan-fuels-dispute-between-christchurch-developers

This was closely followed by an opinion piece by Tom Hooper on the 8th July in the Business day section of the Press. He comments that the last thing our city needs is legal challenges that hold up progress..  Link here:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81892716/tom-hooper-we-need-to-be-fighting-for-the-city-not-fighting-over-it

Closely followed By

 

 

How not to Repair a Heritage building in the Christchurch CBD- now its road works time -CCC & Fulton Hogan

Just when a retail colleague and I were jointly preparing to open up our temporary retail pop-up shop,  to quit some stock before Christmas, the Christchurch City Council and Fulton Hogan Contractors decide to dig up our intersection on the corner of High/St Asaph and Madras Street.   Fine and dandy.

They started work on the 7th of June 2016.  As far as we can work out they do about 10 minutes a day, that is to move the road cones around.  This may be a “slight exaggeration”  may-be make that 1/2 day’s work every 5 days.  Progress is glacially slow. “Productivity” is not word that the contractors or CCC are bothering about.  AND its going to take till December before they finish!

 

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This is the view to the right hand side of our frontage. The whole corner is effectively blocked off.

The little slip way on the left hand side of the photo is the only access and egress from the street. It would be retail suicide to try to open our pop up shop as it is nigh on impossible to drive safely into the street, let alone see where you are going.

 

P1010098.JPGThis is the view to the left hand side of our frontage.   Unchanged in nearly 6 years.

Now one would have hoped that the Councils brief was to aid recovery.  He he…..   yeah right!  As we have proved over and over again in the last 6 years, this does not appear to be the case.

Regenerate CHCH?, Council Liaison Persons, Fulton Hogan contacts…… ??????   who???????

There is really not much more that can be said.

On a more positive note I see that the new lane-way behind us is proceeding at a great pace.  It is a shame that it is now going to have to be partially fenced off as it is unsafe for the pedestrians to use it as it is within the fall zone of the back of the Duncan’s Buildings.   Seems to me that someone has got their priorities all wrong.  Again.

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The new Duncan’s Buildings Lane way.

Ho hum another beautiful winter’s day in a very silly city.

How NOT to rebuild Christchurch

Jeepers, oh what fun…  I am glad that I have existing user rights for my repaired building. It looks like the “big boys from Cashel Street” are all throwing their toys out of the cot… and attempting to mire real progress in this area down in legal challenges.

They appear to have forgotten a number of very simple points:

  • The “Innovation precinct” moniker was an “after thought” throw away line thought up by some so-called “clever planner” at the last-minute of the design stage by the CCDU planners.
  • This block was always expected to have retail in it. It is “Mixed use”.
  • It is a block with a significant Heritage Building in it.  If they had bothered to ask me I could have told them that it was unlikely to be coming down and that it always was going to be small retail /office tenants.
  • This is a PR disaster for the CCCL.  Have they not figured this out yet???
  • Most of us cannot afford to rent in Cashel mall and DO NOT WANT TO.

Interesting is it not.

Here is an editorial published on Monday.   Link Here:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/81413662/editorial-chch-developers-are-doing-the-right-thing-by-challenging-retail-project

humm no comment.

Followed up by this in the Press:http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81494726/mckenzie-and-willis-developer-richard-peebles-questions-timing-of-legal-action

“Peebles said 181 High Ltd’s consent was for 2200 square metres of retail and seven boutique retail shops would be created, not 55”.   (I can not come to 55 shops no matter how many times I count it up).

Followed up by Radio NZ:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/307421/chch-developers-in-fight-over-resource-consent

  “ …  Antony Gough, the spokesman for developers taking court action, said investors in the Retail Precinct had lost tenants to Mr Peebles and other smaller owners on High Street. …”

Now we have incoming support for our new precinct: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81543849/fellow-christchurch-developer-comes-into-bat-for-50-million-development

Good comment by Shaun Stockman regarding the nature of the development.  “The people that will rent in lower High St are not the people who will be in The Crossing,” Stockman said.

Followed up by Johnny Moore’s comment column.

“Johnny Moore: High St stoush is ‘closed-shop behaviour'”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/81600021/johnny-moore-high-st-stoush-is-closedshop-behaviour

Nice one Johnny, my sentiments exactly.  “Reinforcing stereotypes that Christchurch is an Old Boys Club where old families and old money control things, CCCL is made up of the Christchurch elite”.

I also resent my rates money being used to fight this legal stoush. 

Also, I might add, A director of CCCL is Warrick Issacs,  the ex director of the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU).  how can this be?

ho humm.   Another day in a very weird city.

Apologies for the caution shown in these last few posts.  I may end up in court as well as I am in the Innovation Precinct and I am in retail as well. lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How not to repair a Heritage Precinct in the Christchurch CBD

I had heard whispers that this was happening.  A very interesting article by NICK TRUEBRIDGE    23.6.16

“Christchurch development figures start new company, launch High Court proceedings”

Christchurch at its worst.  A group of wealthy businessmen trying to stop retail development in an area that they do not own.  Are they so afraid that this may be competition?  Do they not have the best interests of the city at heart?   Why do we have to resolve this in court?  This should have been sorted out before hand by arbitration/mediation.  Do we not believe in the open market economy and competition?

“A group of Christchurch’s most powerful development figures have joined forces to mount a legal challenge against the city council and the company behind the $50 million McKenzie and Willis redevelopment.

City Centre Christchurch Limited (CCCL) was incorporated on June 8 and filed High Court proceedings to seek a judicial review against the council and 181 High Limited two days later. 

A who’s who of Christchurch property developers and businessmen are connected to the new company, including, among others, Antony Gough, Tim Carter and Roger Bridge as directors, and Warwick Isaacs, Philip Carter and Michael Ogilvie-Lee as shareholders”.

Link Here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81378413/christchurch-development-figures-start-new-company-launch-high-court-proceedings

and Now here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81412297/developers-legal-challenge-symptom-of-available-city-space-expert-says

The real danger is that the public might conclude that they do not want competition to their retail developments in the Cashel Street area.  The public may well ask the question as too why these guys are worried that the smaller Peebles development will take tenants from the larger central city development..  “Gough said CCCL sought a review of resource consents granted for areas that were not intended to be used for retail, but which had been approved for it”.

Everyone in the city knows that the original plan designed by the CCDU, under Warrick Issacs leadership I might add,  for the so-called “Innovation Precinct” was flawed.  At every meeting I ever had with the CCDU, no one could actually tell me what an “Innovation Precinct” was.  I still do not know.

What these gentlemen seem to have forgotten is that it not in the BEST INTERESTS of the city to stop rebuilding and mire redevelopment in legal action.  What about arbitration?  “Asked who came up with the idea for the company, Gough said it was a mutual choice and the company was made up of people “passionate about the centre city”.  yeah right…. There should be some way of dealing with these issues out of court.

Pull your heads in, this looks “anti” any other development but your own.

ps: Richard Peebles’ development is coming together quickly, heaps better than what we had before.  It was retail before the quakes I might add.

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the old McKenzie and Willis building.

Below is a photo of the new lane way behind us, starting to be formed.

 

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The new lane way is starting to appear.

grirr-  could make one very grumpy to see the “well-connected land owners” fight competition and try to stall development in other areas.

pps. Our scaffolding is down and the frontage is looking great.

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ppps: Is this the outcome that these business owners  really want.  After 6 years????

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6 years progress in High St.

How not to repair a Heritage Street in the Christchurch CBD

So whats new in High Street?

Ah, so the news breaks finally.   The plans for Lower High Street.  Good now I can talk about it.   Link Here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/80580175/big-plans-to-rescue-christchurchs-lower-high-st

This is the most positive news that I have heard for 5.5 years, this looks like progress.

The question I have to ask is:  you will notice deep in the press article that it says,  “Otakaro, the Crown-owned company overseeing the innovation precinct, declined to comment on its plans for the 111-year-old Duncan’s buildings, for which it paid $1.8m”.

My understanding of the situation is that the land will be transferred to LINZ (Land Information New Zealand).  Normally it would go too tender, (if I am correct)  but under these circumstances you would think that they would just get on with it.

Really? Have they not made a decision yet?  Just exactly how long do they need to conclude that the longer they wait:

  • the more likely it is that the frontage of the middle units will collapse
  • the more likely it is that some one will further damage/vandalise it.

This could be the most interesting area in the city if they just got on with it.  Ho Hum same old indecision by Government. They really should not be put in charge of recoveries.

I had hoped that the new agency “Otakaro” would be capable of making a decision.  Silly old me!

Late last night I received this email about the South Frame:

Dear stakeholder
 
Please find attached a work notice about City Care JFC’s upcoming work to construct part of the South Frame for Ōtākaro. Work starts on Tuesday 7 June 2016.
 
The South Frame is one of several anchor projects currently underway to create a central Christchurch that is well-formed, and that attracts people to live, work, play, learn, stay and invest.
 
If you have any questions about our work, please call us on 0800 632 889 or email us at civil@citycare.co.nz.
 
Kind regards
 
The City Care JFC communication team

160603 South Frame EPIC Block1
I notice that they started clearing the area for the new lane way a few days ago.    Are they going to seal and pave this area before the demolition off sections of the building?  Cart before the horse?

Anyway on another subject.   I tried to talk to the CCC about the 2 badly damaged buildings on either side of us. It was an attempt to get them to force the building owners on either side of us to act.  (demolish in one case, and make safe in the other).  Both of them are hindering the reopening of our frontage.   Well….. I think it will be like watching the grass grow,  do not hold your breath.  One would have hoped that in 5.5 years some attempt would have been made to force the building owners that have run away to act.  Nope! This is a major flaw in the Recovery Act.

Following last weeks debacle with the closing off of our section of the street, a compromise has been reached and our access continues un hindered.  Its road cone heaven but that normal now in Christchurch. he he!

Any way, the sun is shining, my house is back at consents for an amended building consent, as well as being repriced.  I will have the pleasure of seeing a new contract at the end of June??

Can’t be all bad.

How not to repair a heritage building in the Christchurch CBD…

Christchurch City Council (CCC), Fulton Hogan, NZ Transport Agency….. hello, we are still here…  After being stuffed around for 5.5 years we now have this…. the latest “April Fools” Joke….

Hot off the Press, from the CCC, NZ Transport agency and Fulton Hogan.

I found a flyer late today, tucked under my window wiper.  As from the 25th of May (5 days from now) all access to our building will be stopped “until the end of 2016”.  Both the front and back access will be locked off.   Hello????? anyone home????

My gosh how competent are you guys?  Has anyone bothered to find out that we have a functioning business down here?  And that we have been here for the last 5.5 years, functioning from behind the fencing and mess.  And that we were planning to reopen our retail area as soon as the scaffolding comes down.  In a week or three….

How any one thought that this bright idea will pass the media “sniff test” I do not know.

I got news for you CCC, Fulton Hogan, NZ Transport Agency and it’s all bad.  Go find your self another car park, but the front of my building will not be locked off. You go sort out your “traffic Management setup”  and get back to me ASAP with a plan B.

Consultation at its best. Not.  Please explain to me exactly how I and my customers, supplier and contractors are to access the building.  Or shall we talk about the rental contract that I am about to sign?????

I also assume that you are going to be paying our wages and rent for the next month 6 months as well.

No wonder we are grumpy!  Flippin’ heck, how hard is it to talk to the building owners???.

Just another draft idea that comes from the “powers that be”.

p.s. CCC “knew nothing about this” when rung on the 19th of May.  And Fulton Hogan has not responded.  I wonder why….

Humm  I feel a war coming on……  Bring it on…..

Latest daft idea, ill thought out plan from the power that be.

Latest daft idea, ill thought out plan from the powers that be.