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.

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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

Duncan’s Buildings again…..

When I finished choking on my coffee this morning, I laughed.  We make the front page again. Link Here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/93507270/momentum-on-dirty-30-lower-high-st-heritage-block-reopening-in-months

There are a number of Irony’s here.  Some of which will land me in trouble again…. or is that still….

The CCC Heritage Team appears to have made no attempt to save the Duncan’s Buildings at all.  In fact they have allowed the further demolition of the 2 end units that is proceeding as I type. Pix below.

At the same time the backs of 8 units in the middle section is going to be demolished shortly leaving only the frontages.

 

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There also appears to be a disconnection between the CCC and the Heritage building owners.  What are they actually doing to help the Heritage owners?  Actually what are they doing at all?  there is only a hand full of us Heritage Owners left, now I know why…..

It has also been brought to my attention that a number of Building owners in the city, who have “Earthquake Prone Buildings”  have been given until 2047 to either repair or demolish their buildings. This I believe, includes the building next door to us.  What does the Minister of Building and Construction think he is doing????  Re-building the city one grain of sand at a time?

Really 2047?  You have to be kidding me…. So I have to wait until then before you will force my neighbor to act.  Jeepers, by that time I will be dust, so I will not care anyway!

Ho Hum, we really do need some one to advocate for us….  drat, I thought that what the Heritage team at the CCC was for?  Silly me….

Be very afraid Wellington, you could end up in the same situation I am in…

ps… No parking warden has been sighted in High Street since September 2016.  It’s a flaming shambles. We are struggling to access “our paid” for contractor parking. And I will not even bother mentioning the fact that the drains are full of leaves and blocked and that there is well water running down the footpaths/street and CCC has no interest in dealing with the issues, despite I believe 6 increasingly irritated phone calls.

The question has to asked as to why they are making it so difficult for the existing business’s in the CBD to function.  I can not explain it.

 

IMG_20170607_102032954.jpgThe Heidelberg GTO 52 zp Press inches its way to the door, on its way to a new home here in Christchurch.

 

 

Duncan’s Building Rebuild

News Update:  I have just been sent this link.

This is what is planned for the back of the Duncan’s Buildings.  (The 8 Units owned by the Peeble’s group).

It is so far off the original design that I find it incomprehensible that they have got Resource and Building consents. (I assume that they have got them).

It is a lost opportunity to create a quirky lane way development – similar to the old Lichfield Lanes development.

Hopefully reality looks better than the concept drawings…..

http://naiharcourts.co.nz/Property/802808/CIC45779/153-147-High-Street

Sigh…..

Dirty 30’s Heritage saga continues

Oh dear, such emotive wording…  Link Here:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/92863275/council-goes-after-central-christchurchs-dirty-30-building-owners-who-are-kicking-the-city-in-the-face

The irony is, as my readers know so well, is that we have been trying for years to get the CCC et al to address these issues.  Sadly, when the CCC finally get around to trying to do something they piss off the very building owners who have actually done something.

I have just been informed, very nicely/apologetically I might add, by CCC Councillor Gough, that we are to be removed from the list.

As it should be.  Now I can go on to more meaningful Heritage work…  I think the toilet block gets roofed today and the plumber is turning up….

hi ho, hi ho, its off to work I go….  sorry this saga is amusing me enormously…. more for its stupidity than for its clever and calculated execution.

4.15 pm update: I have just had official confirmation from the CCC that we are no longer on this list.  I would like to see the list idea continue in a more measured fashion.  As something has to be done with the “runaway” building owners in our area.  List now released 5.15pm: https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1708

 

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wall is looking good…

 

Duncan’s Buildings Demolitions…

What is New in Lower High Street?

On Monday 22nd May 2017,  two of the Duncan’s units will be completely demolished. These are the last 2 units at the north end.  The demolition has been authorised by LINZ (Land Information New Zealand). (Non notified Resource Consent?) I understand the reasons for the demolition, namely being that the surrounding land owners are trying to  access and open their newly refurbished buildings. It is their right to have unobstructed access to their buildings.  I have no issues with any of this.

But there are some problems with this demolition.

  • They were easily repairable. It also destroys 2 units in the oldest row of strip shops left in the city. (1905)
  • The demolition is a further needless loss of infrastructure. (I am convinced that the demolition of the cities heritage buildings was advocated by the Current Government to dig them out of a recession and GDP hole).
  • The Historic Places trust and all associated groups have been invisible on this issue.
  • CCC appears to have made no attempts to resolve the issue, unlike the New Regent Street situation where they facilitated negotiations.
  • There is a lack of legislation, or the will to force the building owners to act. ie those who have not done anything in 6 plus years.  CCC refuses to assist us.
  • There is an inconsistency of legislation across the country. ie Parapet tie-back legislation, with subsidies, is in place for the Upper South Island and the lower north island only.

I also note that we do not have unobstructed access to some parts of our building, as a result of the inaction of a neighbouring building owner.  I have now approached LINZ to see if they will facilitate a solution for us.

Oh dear, when will they learn?  For me, it means a further devaluing of the Duncan’s Units historic value.

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From this

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To this….

And from monday 163 and 165 will be leveled to the ground.

This is not the support for the retention of the Duncan’s Units that I was promised.

What a surprise. Not!

Inaccessible city- St Asaph Street- another grumpy meeting…

Well that was interesting.

I was rung at 4.10 to be told there was a meeting of retailers from St Asaph St to be held at the ECAN offices in Tuam Street at 4.30. Present was the CECC, CCC numerous angry retailers.

The meeting of grumpy retailers, bar and cafe owners were deeply unhappy with the “Inaccessible city” design that has been imposed on St Asaph street. All stated the same concerns, road width, lack of short-term parking, curbing, lack loading zones,  constant complaints from their customers about being unable to park anywhere near their destination shop. etc!

One company in the area said that this plan was “idealistic” and takes no account of the fact that the retailers in this area were mainly light manufacturing and destination shops. A very valid comment.

There were 6 business owner in the room, that I know about, who planned or were talking about moving out of the area.

CCC maintains the plan was imposed upon them by CCDU.  hum… I believe it was partially designed by CCC staff…  fake news ? The comment from the CCC was “we had no opportunity to change the plan”.

So far I believe that the new curbing has destroyed 2 sumps and 27 car tyres,  those are the ones that we know about.

CCC says that the roading width is deliberate, to “calm traffic” and that they will not bulldoze the new design but they will tweak it.  ie change parking times from 120mins to ??? give us a few loading zones, sort out the taxi stands and smooth some humps and curbs. The speed limit will be reduced to 30 kmh.  (You can only do 30kmh now!).  I am not sure that any of these measures will deal with the real issues.

CCC maintained that St Johns Ambulance were quite “comfortable” to wait in the traffic on their way to the hospital. It is the “nature of the central city to be caught in traffic”.  Really?  next time I have a heart attack remind me to tell the driver to avoid St Asaph Street.

It will take a brave and honest planner to firstly admit that this design is a huge mistake and then it will take a Very brave council to say that it has to be removed and redesigned.

ho hum,  it is surely interesting in this city.