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…..

 

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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…

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.

CCC Regeneration letter…

News Flash – Hot off the Press:

I have just opened my mail.

When I finished choking on my very nice Sauvignon blanc,  I see that the CCC has sent out a letter telling me and 30 other building owners, that we are holding up regeneration progress in the central city.  They are now going to take a “more proactive role in addressing this problem”.

Our property was identified as “warranting attention” “The Council is keen that there is timely action to resolve the issues concerning your property”.

“From 1 July 2017, normal fees and charges will become payable for the temporary use of a legal road and for traffic management”….    “If discussions between you and the council prove fruitless, the Council and its regeneration partners, LINZ and Environment Canterbury may use other tools in existing legislation to spur progress…..”.

blah blah…

“You will be assigned a case manager whose role is to help you find solutions or offer suggestions for you to pursue”.  Really after 6 plus years?

“The Council is keen to help you bring your property back into use, as this will be of benefit to the city as a whole”.

Surely you jest? this is a joke?  it took them 6 1/2 years to realise that we needed help to sort out our neighbours???  That’s why my lawyer sent LINZ a letter weeks ago, after months of futile phone calls to the CCC.  We are going to request that our neighbours are demolished.  As per the end units of the Duncan’s Buildings.

Signed Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage

Really????

Now correct me if I am wrong but we have talked to the CCC on numerous occasions trying to sort out the problems created by our neighbours..   It was futile.    I have a Resource consent, a Building consent, a traffic management plan and lord only knows what other boxes of Council paper work I have in my lounge…. and we are 3-6 weeks from finishing our toilet block/bunker development.

I have attempted to get the street cleaned up, the leaking water well in the street attended to and the parking issues addressed so my clients can park.  I failed..  mea culpa

Incidentally all of my meetings with the CCC, Regenerate and whatever else they currently call themselves, have been a waste of time, with a couple of notable exceptions. (Thank you Dave H). They leave me angry and frustrated at their lack of understanding of the issues.

I suppose I should ring them and chuck my toys out of the cot, again.  I think I will wait until I can no longer see that red haze.  Cold rage is approaching fast.

Humm, me thinks that the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing and perhaps this is too little too late.

Bad PR!

Link to council article here: https://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1672

I just sold our 2nd machine today after 50 years of trading, because I got tired of waiting.

Follow up!

ho hum the Press is having some fun:

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

This emotive wording is totally unhelpful.

In some cases  “Dirty 30” is totally justified.

In our case,  Totally unwarranted.  We have been badly let down by both the CCC and Linz on this issue.

 

 

 

 

 

Rebuilding in the Christchurch CBD- Duncan’s Building.

What is new in High Street?

The rumour mill has it that the Peebles Group have got their Resource Consent to demolish all the backs of the 8 Duncan’s Units that they own.

I can see considerable engineering difficulties with this plan. One being the seismic gap issue on a joined/shared frontage and the issues of pounding damage.  The technical stuff is:  “If a seismic gap were to be introduced behind the continuous facade, the facade at the gap would shear with earthquake loads perpendicular to High Street, and for earthquake loads parallel to High Street, the facade would probably separate at the gap, and would probably have pounding damage.” 

There are also issues with: the alignment of the frontages, disturbing the new footings that have been put in place post earthquake, party walls, varying standards (NBS) of the facade strengthening, facade realignment and the list goes on….Thanks to Barry Knowles for the detail….

In plain language, it means the frontage will move at different speeds, which is BAD…. it’s called pounding….

There was no building consent lodged with this Resource Consent and one hopes that the CCC consults widely with the relevant engineers.    sigh….

I suspect that the costs of this proposal have not been looked at carefully.  It is nice, quick and easy to demolish the rear of these buildings but the Engineering required to just keep the facades up is out of proportion with the cost of a “wee bit of Brick laying”.  In other words brick laying is a hell of a lot cheaper and simpler.  (There is a serious disconnect between Heritage retention ideals and Financial imperatives. This situation does not look like it is going to be resolved any time soon.)

I did sent a comment to the CCC regarding this issue.  I got no response.  I assume that a Non-notified consent is in the process of being granted.  I find it a bit odd, considering that there are 2 building owners in the same building who are definitely going to be affected.

As I told the CCC:  I have a number of preliminary considerations regarding this application:

  • The inconsistent approach being taken to the Duncan’s Buildings.  I would like to see one consistent solution for all the units left standing.
  • Demolition of the backs is not the best long-term outcome for the units.  The Duncan’s Units, along with New Regent St, is the last and oldest “strip row” of shops left in the city and this proposal will significantly devalue their Heritage value.
  • The Peebles Group maintains that the “High Street facade as the only portion of the building that can be feasibly saved”  and having only “minor effects”.  This is patently incorrect. They remark that “Overall, the proposal will have no more than minor effects in terms of heritage values”.
  • By demolishing all barring the frontage we lose all the Heritage fabric of the Party Walls and the rather quirky and classic  lean-to character of the backs.
  • Party walls are a major part of the Heritage Fabric. There are 4 party walls at the north end that have already had repairs done on them and strengthening put in place. These could be easily repaired, further strengthened and restored and the backs rebuilt in 2 cases.
  • I am surprised that the CCC – Council Heritage advisors are “supportive” of this proposal, as this proposal will significantly “impact on the Heritage values” of the Duncan’s Buildings.  (It explains their lack of comment on this issue, ie they have been conspicuous by their absence and silence).
  • This proposal is not the only feasible and financially viable solution available as both David Collins and I have proved.

All I can say is that they better not ring me again to hassle me about demolishing a crappy brick wall…

ho hum..

Note: I have no beef with Richard Peebles, he has been a “breath of fresh air” in the street.  I just don’t like this part of his plan!  But I would say that…

I see that work has started demolishing the verandahs last week!.

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The table and chairs is our lunch room…

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Moving on!!

  • I am looking forward to the demolition of the unit next door. The new building owner is very pro active regarding demolition!  ye ha….. He is going to be a bit of a challenge for the CCC, but seeing that they have granted demo consent to the Peebles Group, he is in a good position to get his down as well.
  • Our toilet block is starting to appear from the rubble…. Even the brick wall is looking good! The final steel columns are in, it has only taken 6 years to get them in.  It is a bit of a stop – start rebuild which is frustrating, but really it makes no difference.

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    New toilet block appearing from the rubble.

Well, now that Gerry Brownlee is no longer in charge of the rebuild and now Minister of Foreign Affairs…  (Pray to what ever God you believe in, for strength and hope for early elections) .. bet you he goes on the party list so that he does not have to stand against Raf Manji’s in Fendalton).  We now have a new Rebuild Minister, Nicky Wagner… In Christchurch she is known as Nicky… Who……   She has been invisible in the city for 6 years.

same old same old.

Link here:   http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/91868470/cabinet-reshuffle-gerry-brownlee-no-longer-canterbury-rebuild-boss

I’m off to bugger around on face book….. and maybe paint some walls and shift some bricks….

ps My house looks like a house!  progress….

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Business waits years for quake damage to neighbours to be fixed…

Oh dear, my infamy continues.

A well-balanced report by Rachel Graham  A Christchurch Reporter, discussing the issue of abandoned and unrepaired buildings.  It is rather topical at the moment due to the “slow train wreck” that is the Wellington CBD. 

I confess to a snort of irritation as I listened to Connal Townsend say that “The Arts situation is extremely rare”.  “Normal process is in place”.  ha ha…  he is out of date. I can name 8 buildings within 1 km off me  with the same issue. Maybe he should come and see me?

Director of the Greater Christchurch Group within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Kelvan Smith,: “Christchurch City Council also has powers and functions under the Building Act 2004. It can require building owners to undertake works under section 124 of the Building Act.”  Really?  you could have fooled me!  The question would have to be asked as to why it is not being used?  We had a meeting with the Operational Policy and Quality Improvement Manager at the CCC  to be told that they had no power to sort this?  lies, lies and more lies…

CCC: unavailable for comment.  No surprises here….

The Law is an ass.

Audio Link Here:  http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201825514/christchurch-business-waits-years-for-neighbours-to-be-fixed

Article Here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/319048/five-years-on-‘we’re-a-dead-end’

ho hum.  I’m off to do some real work, rather than “buggerise around on Facebook all day” as our earthquake Minister Brownlee so eloquently put it.

Another beautiful day in Christchurch.

Connal Townsend, Kelvin Smith and the CCC.  They need to get out of their offices and come and see the reality.