How not to repair a Heritage Building in Christchurch

Hot off the Press…

Notification that the South Frame lanes network details have been announced.  (The ones that have been sitting on the ministers desk for over 6 months…..) Link here:

“The powers that be” have finally released the South Frame Connections & Spaces Design Synopsis.  For a brief second I got excited.  Finally we will get some detail of the new lane ways proposals? Some certainty, clarification and guidance…..   It was not to be…. I am astonished by the lack of detail in this document.  At 11 pages,  they must have written a page a month,  at an average of 150 words per page. (Over 60% of this document is useless concept pictures.)

My question is this: How is a building owner in the South Frame supposed to make a commercial decision regarding rebuilding on the basis of this document?  The answer is it is not possible.  This is a joke.  There are not site plans or measurements, no street lay outs, no landscaping details… the list goes on.   Just exactly what has the CCDU been doing since the 10 December 2014 when they promised us some detailed design drawings?

I am totally underwhelmed.

To save you hunting for it.   Link here:

The South Frame has been a disaster, it looks abandoned.   Section after section is vacant.  This area has been badly handled.  (As is usual with anything CERA/CCDU messes with.)

“The Crown compulsorily bought only half the 113 private properties originally earmarked for the project, spending $37 million. Designations were lifted or reduced on the rest. More than 50 per cent of land in the South Frame is now vacant, and existing businesses, including car sales yards, remain on private sites.

The map of the south frame is on page 10 bottom right hand corner.  It is so small that you will need a magnifying glass to learn anything. The lack of detail is staggering.

This is at first glance not a meaningful document that will inspire confidence.  It will give no certainty to the landowners left in the south frame.

Ho humm, it might look better in the morning. (Unfortunately it does not).

This was published in the Business day section yesterday. “Cera creating conditions for capital-raising ‘natural disaster’, cash-raiser says”   By Tim Fulton.

It refers to the bun fight that occurred between land owners/Investors in the city mall project.

“The Government had not only defined how wider precinct areas would look but also attempted to take control at a micro level in managing the delivery of these projects – in effect telling the private sector how they would spend their money,” Tim Howe, founder of Ocean Partners, was behind the Christchurch Provident Investment Co (CPIC) that had raised $200 million for a now-abandoned City Mall development.”

“Lincoln University property professor John McDonagh said big developments in Cashel Street were “pretty much all we will get in the CBD core.”

McDonagh, an associate professor in property studies, said state-led “anchor” projects were notable by their absence.

A recent Colliers report made it clear that investing in more CBD office space made no financial sense. Buildings under construction now would probably be “all that is needed for a long time,” he said.

An over-supply of fix ups to pre-earthquake buildings would make curtail further development and hit suburban office space rents and vacancy levels.

There was still 30 hectares of vacant commercial land in the city available but plans for it were unknown, McDonagh said”.  Link here:

Whats new in High Street:

  • The new proposal for the old Excelsior Hotel is excellent news.  The old facade will be rebuilt in modern materials.  In my view after waiting 5 years this is excellent news. I look forward to the start of this project.  Link here:
  • CCDU still has not sold its 7 units in the street.  As we come up to the 5 years anniversary of the February 2011 quakes, one can only wonder at their inability to make a decision.
  • We are waiting on the floor sander to come and sand our floor, then we go to final fit out stage in the retail area.
  • The Mckenzie and Willis site is cleared of all rubble and the foundations of the new building are going in.

    A major concrete foundation pour is occurring this morning, on the Mckenzie and Willis site.

    A major concrete foundation pour is occurring this morning, on the Mckenzie and Willis site.

  • The Billens site is clear.
  • The North end unit of the Duncans buildings has been “made safe” under a “section 38 Make safe order”.  It is so safe now, that a total rebuild will be necessary.  Incidentally it took the contractor over 10 days, and I estimate it cost $100,000.  gulp!!!!
Before Section 38

Before Section 38 “Make safe”

This is what an estimated $100000 of make safe work looks like.

This is what an estimated $100000 of make safe work looks like.

The weather is good, the evening is warm, and the design synopsis for the south frame will make a good fire lighter.  That is all its good for.

Sleep well…..