About cardmakerschch

A Christchurch business owner who has found dealing with the "powers that be" in charge of the earthquake "recovery" a frustrating and soul destroying exercise. Now nearly 7 years since the February 2011 quake, signs of improvement are gradually appearing. This is the story of how "not to go about" repairing a destroyed city and a Heritage Building in the city. 60% of the CBD has been torn down. Communication and common sense has been thrown out the window in Christchurch. It would be nice to see an end to it all. It is starting to look like all the crown Anchor projects are dead ducks and the CBD is a sea of "vacant signage", empty office space and bare sites. This is a "warts and all story" and is not the sanitised version that you get from the Council, Government or local newspapers. Some issues I gloss over as I do not want to bore you.

How not to repair a Heritage Bulding in the Christchurch CBD… Dirty 30’s again….

What is new in High Street.

  • The Watson’s frontage has been purchased by Shaun Stockman.  An Excellent outcome for the street as he is a very proactive landowner, who has a flare with heritage buildings.  (Although, as you know, I hate just keeping the facades).  I know that the Watson’s Building had been strengthened pre-earthquakes.  So the question should be asked as to why is only the facade still standing?  Did CERA have another of their rushes of blood to the head?  Any one know or remember, or was it another case of an overzealous demo contractor? I will try to find out. Link Here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/98817606/facade-sells-at-auction-no-takers-for-dux-building
  • This is obviously still annoying me…. I see the “dirty 30 list” is rearing its ugly head again.  In the 6 months or so that the CCC has been pursuing the building owners on this list they have sorted out 3?  Really? ( I sorted one-off them for them, I might add.  So consider that 2.)  And you consider that a success? As a building owner still trapped in a street of “Dirty 30’s” I do not consider this a success.  In fact the words Dismal Failure spring to mind.  Link Here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/99030236/action-taken-on-christchurchs-dirty-30-list   As you all know, I think that the legislation has let us down badly in this regard. The building owners in many cases have been negligent in their duties to the city.
  • We have now sold all of our plant.  The last of it will transfer in a few weeks to the new owner. We are pleased that we have sold the last of the gear to a local company.  We look forward to helping him get up and running and we hope he has as much fun with the “Cardmaker’s brand” as I have had in the last 20 years.  The factory is slowly emptying as we work our way through 50 years of stuff!  Jeepers we have found some treasures!
  • The demolition of the back of the Duncan’s buildings was supposed to happen a few weeks ago.  I do not know what the hold up has been.  There are multiple engineering issues with this demo.  I have some reservations about it.  One being how they will resolve the issue of the continuous facade and seismic gaps in the rebuild of the backs.  But what would I know.
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    No Demo yet….

    Happy days… the sun is shining, the ground only shakes once in a while, I am in my new house, the garden is starting to look better and not working is really great…. May I cost the government a fortune in superannuation payments and health care…. I consider it revenge for the crappy treatment that they dished out to the small land owners in the city… but I would say that!!!

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How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD… St Asaph Street debacle..

What is New in High Street?

  • I see that Barry Watson has finally decided to put his frontage on the market for sale.  Personally I have serious reservations about the efficacy of “facadism”.  My experience is that the cost of repairing such facades is out of proportion to the return that one will get.  ie to get that facade tied back to a new building will cost approximately $1m?  Is it worth it? I also wonder what the cost to the surrounding area has been off leaving this building frontage derelict for 7 years.  A subject that the now EX building minister Nick Smith ignored when I tried to bring it up.   Link here:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/98252721/christchurch-heritage-facade-for-sale–without-the-building
  • The building next door at 135 High Street is down.  There is a wee bit of party-wall to be fixed.  From our point of view it looks 100% better.

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    Why did this take 7 years?????

  • I threw my toys out of the cot, again… and now finally the CCC has started to sort out the parking issues in our cul-de-sac.  I now have to ring them again as the rubbish bins are not being emptied and the street is awash with trash. What is it with these guys?
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    It has improved.

    I have been watching the St Asaph Street roading debacle with interest.  Generation Zero is insisting that the city become cycle only, while the business/building owners want vehicle access for their customers.   The naivety of the Generation Zero group is surprising, we have an aging population and they appear to have no business sense what so ever, while the Business Owners are fighting for the survival of their businesses  (they also have lost the plot, as much of the street was being used as long-term parking by their staff).  Reinstating what we had in the past is not satisfactory.  Any one ever heard the word compromise?

    Link Here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/98200418/authorities-believe-christchurchs-controversial-central-city-transport-plan-is-still-right-for-the-city   I will admit that I laughed when they suggested that this plan is going to come to fruition in 10 years time.  Whoops.. shame about the fact that it is not working now! Bit tough on the businesses that are there now…

  • Moving on…. Demolition off the backs of the Duncan’s Buildings begins on Monday.  We are not looking forward to the dust. I will get some photos of it tomorrow.  It could get interesting structurally…
  • We are having a closing down sale next weekend as we are not willing to wait for things to get better.  We have heaps of stock to clear.  We look forward to seeing our clients again after 7 years..close down mail order

have a safe evening!

How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD…Demolition..

What is new in High Street…

It took 4 hours to sort it with a digger…

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But It took 7 years to get to this stage…

 

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Locked up again, this time for a week!

All jokes aside, one would have to ask why it took nearly 7 years for the issue of 135 High Street to be resolved.

We asked for help numerous times:

  • The land owner- it was uninsured..
  • CERA (Govt)  The less said about these guys the better.
  • CCDU  (Govt)  -Waste of time…
  • DC Christchurch  (CCC)  -No money no power.
  • The CCC -They denied they had the power.
  • CCC Heritage….. Well meaning but toothless..
  • Lawyers…  $$$$
  • LINZ (Govt)  who are in charge of these things now (They Ducked for cover, no response…)
  • The Minister of Building and Construction Dr Nick Smith… (Govt) ( Not my problem he says…)

No One would or was willing to address the issue.

There is a much bigger picture here that needs to be addressed. Who in the future is going to make sure this situation does not occur again? Wellington it is your turn now, you too could face the same problem…

One Building owner should not be able to hod up progress in an area to the detriment of surrounding and functioning businesses.

Minister Nick Smith is plain WRONG.  This issue needs to be addressed, it is occurring all over the country as buildings are abandoned,  often demolition costs are exceeding the value of the land. So it is easier to walk away.

The legislation is patently flawed and I feel that the responsibility for this failure lies with the Minister, Nick Smith.  This situation has been an epic failure on his part.

It should never be allowed to occur again..

Whoops I forgot… I got another building just like this one on the other side.

The law is an ass…

 

ho hum… I would like to see the figures on the number of Business closures in the CHCH CBD in the last 7 years, and the figures for how many survived the quakes and the shambles that followed…

PS.  I have been told that our end of High Street is closed.  Has been for months.  That accounts for the parking problems I have been going on about.   I found out by accident.  NO ONE TOLD or asked me.  CCC another epic failure….

NOTE TO CCC PARKING DIVISION:  WE ARE STILL TRADING OUT OF OUR BUILDING…..

 

How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD…The Tram…

What is New in High Street?

  • The Press has an article about the Tram that was supposed to run down our end of the street.   I note that we get a mention in the comments again.  Link Here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/97717158/shakeup-of-christchurch-transport-plan-proposed     I had heard a whisper that this proposal would not go ahead, so I am not surprised.  What did surprise me was that they even considered lower High Street as an option at all.  The intersection at Tuam/High Street is so crowded with signage I am not sure that the tram will fit thru!  (I think it is 28 signs).   I will grab a photo and re-do my count.   I wonder if the new stadium, or Victoria Street might be a better option for the Tram? He he!  High Street is a destination shopping zone.  I have yet to be convinced that the tram fits this classification. I know that Mr Peebles’ does not agree and his point about digging up the street after the building repairs are done is valid. CCC has left all the roading repair projects to the last-minute, it has proved to be a costly mistake.
  • Access to our frontage is a nightmare.  CCC has not responded yet.  Unfortunately they seem to have the misguided idea that we are not trading so we do not need access.  And you certainly can not get access from St Asaph Street!  (Narrow, lacks parking, multiple kerbs and channels… etc   Ho hum status normal AFU!  We have only been waiting nearly 7 years….  (Wellington has no idea what joys are waiting for them…)
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This is my front door access at the moment. If I can get into the street that is.

  • Work on the demolition of 135 Begins tomorrow I believe. That will make access even more interesting. But the end result will be worth the annoyance.

 

Hi ho… its off to work I go…..I think i will risk my old bones on the bike… i might just be able to squeeze past to my front door…

How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD…

So, whats new in High Street????

  • Did you know that for our building, according to the CCC that “the heritage listing/protection only applies to exterior fabric of the building. Interior fabric, including party walls are no longer protected as part of the heritage item as a result of the recent District Plan review process.  As such the only elements of the Duncan’s Units that can be assessed in terms of effects upon Heritage value in this consent process are the front High Street facade, the rear Duncan’s lane facade, the roof and foundations.”   Really you have to be kidding me.  Based on this,  I can cheerfully demolish my party walls, without consent, I assume…   What brainless bureaucrat has come up with this nonsense?    (this came out of the CCC report on the non notified Resource consent application for the redevelopment proposal for the Duncan’s Buildings.)  So some wag somewhere has decided that party walls are not part of the Heritage fabric of a building, this is very convenient and I am sure will be news to other Christchurch building owners with party walls.

    Based on this we can all have a field day pulling down our party walls?   Now that they are not part of the Heritage fabric of a building….
    I note that the consulting Engineer also said that the walls are not repairable.  You could have fooled me…  bugger I had better go check my repaired walls ….
    Moving on before I lose the plot completely……
  • The Peeble’s consortium is working on the propping of the Duncan’s Facade that they own.  The propping is starting to take shape.
  • IMG_20171003_122635485_HDR.jpg

    Steel props are going up.

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    as at 2.00pm 5/10/17

  • The Billen’s Building is racing ahead.  Apparently finish date is December!  I believe he has tenants already lined up.

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    Stockman’s Billen’s building is close to being finished..

  • The CCC has effectively closed off our end of the street, by turning it into a contractor parking area. I was not told off course! It is a “no rules apply” area I am afraid.  Double parking, yellow lines, traffic islands- no problem! it is all legal in High Street. This is not going to help my new, arriving soon, upstairs tenants.   I am trying to get the situation sorted.   WIP I am afraid. By the way rumor has it that the CCC is going to open High Street to one way traffic in December. If this happens it will become very interesting to see how the Peebles group access their building.
  • IMG_20171003_095638125.jpg

    In High St you can park anywhere you like!

  • The Press is still talking about the “Dirty 30….  now apparently the “Dirty 15”.  I Note that there are buildings missing from this list. Link here:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/97458734/action-taken-on-over-half-of-central-christchurchs-dirty-30 I note also that we get a mention in the comments.  I am heartened to know that someone out there is watching. Unfortunately the CCC has not managed to get the owners of 141 High Street to co-operate (BBS Australia Ltd) nor the owners of the Ace Video Building on the corner.   – I did also think it was rather unfair of them to show a picture of the Shands/Trinity buildings in Manchester Street as an example of the “Dirty 30”.  Both of these buildings have repairs well under way and in fact I was in Shands a few days ago for a meeting, it is looking amazing! They have done a great job in a year.  http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/87242781/Christchurchs-Shands-Emporium-moves-to-final-resting-place
  • The derelict building at 135 High Street, next door to us, will be demolished on the 13th- 20th of October.  It will help with the tidy up of our frontage! Progress at last! Apparently it will not take long.
    IMG_20170720_100824977_HDR

    The shell of 135 will be demolished next week.  (p.s. Some idiot threw a rock thru our upstairs circular window. Hence the cherry picker)

     

     

    Ah well,  I better get my skates on, I am trying to tidy up our retail area for the real Estate agent, he wants some pretty pictures.  The worst of it is that I have to move it all back for our upcoming stock clearance sale…..

How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD…

Lower High Street gets the “Council Treatment again”.  I came to work this morning to find that our access has been cut off…….. again.  We had no prior warning.  Apparently they are trying to solve the storm water issues that have been causing grief for 3 years now…

These are photos of our current access…. I am starting to develop a persecution complex…..  What is it about coming and seeing us to warn us that is so difficult?

Ho Hummmm   …. my sale planned for last February this year is postponed again….. just so the council can park their trucks and digger in front of us during the day.

This just adds to our security issues and is not helpful to our leasing prospects.  As if they give a S…..

Case Manager??????

I am starting to get grumpy.

High Street again…7 years on

So What’s new in High Street.

  • Work on the Peeble’s units has ground to a halt,  It has been over 4 weeks since any progress has been made.  I have not had a clear answer as to the reasons? At least they have some of the supports in place is the only consultation I can think off.  (I have been told to think positive by my Heritage friends….   he he).

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  • We are trying to get our Code of Compliance paperwork in order.  It is a nightmare of paper……  a WIP I am afraid.
  • we have properly functioning toilets for the first time in 7 years….
  • I had an unexpected/unannounced visit from The City Council.  3 people are required for this.  Same shit different day.  Sorry “can’t help with the issues you face”.  (That’s funny you sorted out New Regent Street?)  “The Legislation has not been extended to Christchurch” to allow CCC to deal too recalcitrant land owners.  They actually admitted that the Decision by Minister Nick Smith not to extend the legislation to Christchurch is “extremely unhelpful”.  Sounds to me like they should lobby Nick Smith, he took no notice of my pleas for assistance in March this year.
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Next door “neighbour” on the North side

 

  • We have sold our 3rd piece of machinery, a guillotine, it is off to Auckland.  Interesting is it not that the loss of infrastructure in Christchurch has benefited Auckland?  (This occurred in Kobe, Japan after the earthquakes there in 1995.  If my memory serves me correctly Tokyo benefited. The vultures circle…..)  This stuff is not coming back and negatively impacts on the local economy.   Well the Government knows best….
  • Rumour has it that further down High St, Barry Watson has given up trying to save the frontage of his demolished shop in High Street.  I believe that the section is coming up for sale.
  • Laurie Rose’s 2 Duncan’s Units are now down.  This was not really necessary,  I suspect that it is a decision that was ill-conceived and not financially sound.
  • The Billen’s rebuild is steaming ahead.  Good news!
  • The TMR (The Monday Room)  has reopened in David Collin’s units a few doors down from us.  Their access is “challenging” to say the least.    Brave…..                    Note in the pix below the 2 end units of the Duncan’s Block are gone.  The “Billens Building” is taking shape on the right hand side.

 

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  • “Little High Eatery” on the Old McKenzie and Willis site is up and running.  It is humming.  I have noticed that it is negatively affecting the other eateries’ in the area.  Sooner or later this situation is going to push some of the eateries over the edge. (There are too many and they are too expensive to eat at on a regular basis.)
  • There is a further loss of retailers occurring in the area.  But no one wants to talk about that issue.  Council knows best. yea right…. that’s why the central city is full of cafes and bars,  brand name fashion shops and not much else.   Interesting that I  and most of the other residents in Christchurch have not bothered going into the CBD for many months.  (I believe the figure is 80%)
  • We are having on going parking issues at our end of the street.  Not helped by the local builders using the area as free parking and the lack of interest from council.

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  • I went to a presentation given by the CCC last night regarding:   “The Future of Heritage in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula”.  Yes, yes, all very laudable and nice. BUT the reality is that there is a massive disconnect between all these pretty words and pictures and the reality of the situation off the few remaining Heritage owners in the city.  Given the fact that we are called the “dirty 30”  I would say that wouldn’t I? ( This is obviously still annoying me…..).    I did get one comment that I had not done an updated blog post!   (Sorry been distracted as you will see below.)

Late News:

I had a wry laugh at this one.  The Press published an article about the Darby’s site in Manchester St.  After 7 years CERA/CCDU/et al have “handed” the site back to him as they can not reach agreement regarding the price.  One comment refered  to the land as “Blighted”.

I sympathise with Mr Darby.  We are Blighted in the same way.

Link Here:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/95592930/land-useless-after-government-pulls-out-of-south-frame-purchase-owner-says

ho-Hum,  ahh well… its stopped raining AND a drum roll please…. I have moved into my rebuilt house……!!!!   Whew 7 years is too long…

Landscaping and paving the sea of mud is not covered under “policy”.  But all in all, my grateful thanks to the Southern Response Project Manager that picked up this rebuild when it turned to custard and got it sorted!  I know they get a lot of flak but I will raise my hand and say job well done!

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A sea of Mud