How not to Repair a Heritage Block in the CBD Christchurch… part 127

Locked out of undamaged factory for 964days – (since Feb 2011)

Do we still own our building????    Now 437 days since designated “South frame, Innovation Precinct” – only 4 more years to go before we get told if we are going to be compulsorily acquired by CCDU.

Well this week we have made some progress on the building. ( In desperation I have also brought in an extra “semi retired” builder friend.) The framing has gone up around the stairs, the door and windows now open and close, the roof no longer leaks, we have permanently fixed and flashed a small window that has been hanging in space for 964 days.  We have a “new” recycled rimu floor and the gib is up on the ceiling and we are working on the pre wiring getting ready for plastering as well as getting the toilet block operating. We are heading for the stairs which need repairing and the gib is starting to go up.

Framing around the stairs.

Framing around the stairs.

we have a floor!
we have a floor!

Finally CERA/CCDU has reduced the fencing at our end of the street, this was heralded by an email on the 20th of September 2013 from CERA. It actually happened only a few days ago, the work being done by the CCC. It pushes the fencing to within 5 metres of our front door.  Getting closer!

slightly reduced fencing!

slightly reduced fencing!

I see in the Chch Press  10.10.13  Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/your-property/9264216/Government-chips-in-for-City-Mall-project that the CCDU has finally allowed the city mall building owners to develop their own sites.  ( With some overall design plan yet to be designed.)  Lucky sods in city mall Block get to keep their land while us poor relations in the frame get taken for a song. Incidentally there is a growing chorus of discontent about the way these confiscations have occurred.  In fact the word confiscation is increasingly used by all and sundry,  Now that’s progress!   http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/9247105/Lack-of-valuation-info-riles-landowners

Interesting to note also that the Plans for the “Innovation Precinct” ( Which we are unfortunately part of) are well overdue. Rumour has it that they will not be released until after the local body elections. More political games that we are all so familiar with. It really makes no difference which council is in place as CERA/CCDU has the power and the CCC just follows orders.

It is likely that they have just worked out that the innovation tenants that they thought would populate this area are unable to afford the rents of the new buildings that need to be built and that their plan is in tatters.  No surprises in that. Any building owner in the city could have done the maths for them on the back of a match box.

There is also a growing awareness  and increasing angst amongst the citizens in CHCH that the demolition of good buildings to make way for roading or green spaces is just plain daft. The thinking is that we have few enough buildings left standing in the city without chucking out tenants ( who are going to have trouble finding rental space)  and reducing good safe, functioning buildings to rubble. The Westend building in Manchester Street is probably the best example of this. Link Here:   http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/8488828/New-CBD-building-to-be-demolished:

As well as the Calendar Girls building. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/city-centre/9176247/Strip-club-kicks-back-with-video This building has sparked debate.  Their appears to be some double standards being applied here.  Since when has CERA/CCDU the right to make moral judgements.  Regardless of ones view of this business this is just plain wrong.

DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/city-blueprint/7388156/Strip-club-vows-to-fight-move

There was an interesting article/opinion piece by  Dr Jarrod Gilbert is a sociologist lecturer at the University of Canterbury and is the lead researcher at Independent Research Solutions.

“Concerns arise that due to the nature of the business, it apparently curries little sympathy within Cera. For example, compare the fate of Calendar Girls to the only other building in the vicinity that survived – a popular franchised gym. Les Mills has been given special allowance to stay within the green space.”

Link here:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/9249180/Cera-not-Christchurchs-moral-authority

On a completely different subject for a change: I managed a wry smile when I saw that the  “The Environment Court has ruled that the heritage-listed Harcourts building on Wellington’s Lambton Quay cannot be demolished.”

Hello?  where was the Environment Court  when CERA pulled down all of central CHCH on the basis of that they were a danger? Link Here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9253101/Judge-rules-on-Harcourts-building-demolition

I have a lot of sympathy for this building owner.  He has a building that is going to cost millions to strengthen. I have just gone through this process with a 2 storey building I shudder to think what his would cost. I have heard a figure of $10 million.  This would not surprise me. This is called the “Detroit Outcome”  whereby the building will be boarded up and allowed to deteriorate with time.  It is what is happening to many buildings in High street now.

Another favourite topic of mine is the issue of the East side land.  Being an “Eastie” myself this issue makes me see red.  ( I lived on the east side for 50+ years and I was in the process of going back to the east side before the quakes). They confiscated our land, took our partially damaged houses, chucked us out in a totally callous and heartless manner. And in the future we know that they are going to sell much of it off.  An excellent opinion piece by John McCrone

“It just seems obvious the Government will want to get its money back on its decision to red zone some 8000 properties – 5000 of them congregated around the Avon River.”

“The Avon red-zone represents some 400 hectares, or about two-and- a-half Hagley Parks. Imagine what a high-end developer could do if allowed to carve up this as a blank slate. And what reason would there be to leave such a large wedge of Christchurch forever empty?”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/the-east/8972195/Is-the-abandoned-east-a-future-Crown-goldmine

Ah ha, and you wonder why I am so grumpy!  It’s a good day, My house is facing the bulldozer, I am packing up years of stuff. Now that’s progress!

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