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.

    IMG_20171003_122741207.jpg

    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.
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    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.
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    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…..

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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…..

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Rebuilding in the CBD.. Duncan’s Buildings..

What is new in High Street today?

This is worth seeing!  The council planted “Pin Oaks,” if my memory is correct, in 1995-96???  They have become huge – over 15 meters high, they obscure the frontages, are messy, untrimmed and they drop leaves and acorns every where, as well as dripping a sticky sap all over your vehicles and making the buildings dark and dingy.   I am not a fan!

They “unfortunately” needed to be removed, along with the verandahs so that the Peebles Group can prop the facades of the 8 units that they own.  he he…. and hopefully they can replant a more suitable tree this time.  The continued CCC obsession with English oaks baffles me.  (Trees on one side of the street only is the answer!  The other side if I have my way.  Which is unlikely.   I must have a word to Mr Peebles…)

Why would you obscure such a beautiful frontage with such massive trees?

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Before

 

 

 

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After the removal of the trees and verandahs.

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clever fish eye merging by google!

I guess you could call this progress!

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.

    IMG_20170421_171439028_HDR

    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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