I saw an interesting comment from a respected building owner a few days ago. Unfortunately they must remain unnamed. The comment went like this:
“CERA realize they have dropped the ball with the CBD and are now wanting to re-engage with owners, hence why they are holding these ‘block meetings’, they now accept the top down approach in dealing with the city hasn’t worked but there are too many reputations on the line to change now. The best we will see will be some modification of aspects of the plan.”
Block meetings are area meetings where CCDU “engage” with the building owners. The people running these meetings have no power to make decisions. They take comments and issues back to the “powers that be”, who ever they may be.
Here is a copy of the conversation I tried to have with the “upper management wallies” today re the stalled status of High Street. I use this as an example of the futility of trying to engage with them, You may as well try to herd cats or drive chooks.
Sent: Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:28 a.m.
Subject: re block 19
Hi Murray, ……. suggested that I contact you to find out why there has been no progress regarding the Duncans buildings in lower High Street,
The silence over the last 2+ years has been deafening.
The lack of contact or information or certainty has not encouraged any of the building owners to make any progress at all (except us and ….). And we are weary of the excuses for inactivity from the other building owners.
Three frontages/buildings are still lying on the street two of them for over 2 years and the other The Globe/Billens building since the december 2012 arson. And I will not even talk about the Mackenzie and Willis building.
The back of this area is a tourist attraction and perhaps Cera should consider charging fees for photographic opportunities and run a walking tour through the buildings for revenue.
I am constantly fielding comments from my customers and the public about the fate of this area, and I think the time has come for someone to have the guts to make a decision.
We are also constantly having to board up our neighbours windows, doors etc to keep out nightly predators. It is only a matter of time before another fire occurs.
This is a hope-less situation.
I suggest that some action on the part of Cera and the CCDU is well overdue. (Both have proved to be totally ineffectual in forcing building owners to act and this has been a major factor in this situation.)
We have well and truly lost patience with the situation.
It is patently obvious to us that the Duncans buildings ground floors could be retail/cafes etc and perhaps the upper floors IT or “Innovation” what ever that means.
Why has no action been taken to secure the situation in Lower High Street?
We have a fully strengthened building awaiting a “mythical” DEE and Producer Statement, so that we can get an amended consent (to finish gibbing and repairs).
We have ply in front of a brand new frontage that we are too scared to reveal because of the lack of security. We could have a functioning printing business operating from this site within days, if we are ever allowed to open, which looks increasingly unlikely.
The situation is a disgrace.
I await your answer with some interest.
I will have a look at your concerns and come back to you next week on what I discover.
Fair enough! Than I get this:
Anna …. one of my colleges (sic) will in-devour(sic) to answer your queries and concerns, Anna has been answering similar queries of land owners in block 19 and therefore has some current knowledge.
As you would have heard we (the investment team) have been running block parties for the non-designated blocks over the last month and will continue that over the next couple of months. I would expect that those responsible for block 19 will be looking at holding a similar style of meeting in the next couple of months with all the land owners in your block so your collective concerns can be addressed.
My god no wonder the building owners are frustrated, moving out of the CBD and generally pissed off. We would go in an instant if we could. Block Party????? you must be joking!
One of my fellow building owner contacts has just kindly sent me this link and comment. At least that put a smile on my face.!
If you’re a Marty Feldman fan you might remember in the movie “Silent Movie” there is a company called “Engulf and Devour” (sounds just like CERA to me)
His big idea: the first silent motion picture in forty years. At first the Chief (Sid Caesar), who is in danger of losing the studio to the (literally) rabid and greedy New York conglomerate Engulf & Devour rejects the idea, but Funn convinces him that if he can get Hollywood’s biggest stars to be in the film, he could save the studio
ho humm another day in the paradise that is Christchurch.