Whats new in High Street?
Much to our astonishment and delight we have progress in High Street.
- The building owner next door, on the North side, has finally put his building up for auction. The figure it sold for was double what I considered reasonable considering the repairs needed. ( I was badly wrong!)
It took 7.5 years to get to this stage. One can not help wonder if the “Powers that be” can not find a better way to deal with these issues. But that is another story that they are not listening too.
I have done a rough cost estimate of how much it has cost the economy to keep our street closed for the last 7.5 years. I estimate the loss of turnover of the approximately 16 shops in our units plus residential and offices on the second floor, to be about $15,000,000 per year. Multiply x 7.5 years= $112,500,000. Simplistic and inaccurate maths I know. But that is $112,000,000 plus that has not flowed back into the Christchurch economy for 7 plus years. Then add into that, the closure of at least 6-7 businesses that did not reopen following the closure of the street, us included, the loss of equipment, infrastructure and skills, wages etc. At a very rough guess I would round that figure up to $120,000,000.
The question that has to be asked is? Why did the powers that be not calculate this figure themselves and make an effort to get repairs under way in this street sooner?
I am not sure that I will ever know the answer.
The new owner has plans to reinstate the building, turning the upstairs into an inner city apartment and the ground floor into retail space. It will take him about 8-10 months if he really gets moving.
So we have another year to wait before this neighbour is sorted.
- We also have a wait for the south side owner, but we now have a lovely clear site on our boundary! Now covered in gravel. The new plans are at Engineering stage.
- The Consortium group has started the foundation pour on the North side units. Hoping to be finished by December.
- The “only” fly in the ointment is the Ace Video Building at 130 High Street, that is still on the “Dirty 30” list. The lack of progress with this building defies belief.
So here we are 7.5 years later, in a closed off street, watching the grass grow. Be very afraid, this could happen to you Wellington. Hopefully the Powers have learnt what not to do, but I doubt it!
Ho Hum , it’s a lovely day, I am an unemployed bum and I am off to check my possum traps. Only had 50 so far this year. Predator Free Port Hills is still a long way off!