So, what is new in High Street 5 years on from 22nd February 2010?
Not much obviously!
- There appears to be no progress on the sale of the Duncan’s Building. I have seen no sign of a tender document.
- I have spoken to a number of interested buyers but it seems that CERA et al are unable to lift this issue out of the too hard basket. I have also been “told” that CERA et al will not be selling any further properties until the new “Regenerate” entity takes over. Another delaying tactic. CERA closes down in April sometime, I can not remember if it’s the end of April or early. The problem for CERA of course is that they paid too much for the buildings. ( These figures are readily available). CERA acquisitions in Lower High Street:
145-151 High St Oct 13 $636,000 4 units
153 High St Aug 13 $430,000 1 unit
155-157 High St Aug 13 $760,000 2 units
Total paid $ 1,826,000
Estimate of value now after 5 years of neglect: Land price less demolition. My guess is half of this price. There is one insurance settlement to be collected on one unit, but after 3 years that will have devalued by approx 30%.
So, there are a number of issues here.
CERA/CCDU probably does no want to show a loss on the sale of these buildings on their books. (Bad look for the Government) They also appear incapable of sucking it up and doing a deal with a developer, along the lines of “you do the work and once they are tenanted you will pay xyz….”. ie Stagger the payments. This would be normal practice in the commercial world. They basically appear to be incapable of Making a decision. Governments should not be in the business of real estate.
c’est la vie…..
- I see in the Press today, in a very good summary of the rebuild “Have the anchor projects anchored Christchurch’s central city?” by GEORGINA STYLIANOU, that 2 more properties belonging to the Christchurch Heritage Trust are under contract. That will be the Billen’s site in the lower block and the Excelsior Hotel site on the corner of High Street & Manchester Street. Good news for the street. Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/76090113/have-the-anchor-projects-anchored-christchurchs-central-city
- Security is still an ongoing issue in the street. The police arrested 2 young men breaking into a neighbouring unit last week.
We, again, had to board up the frontage. (The land owner has been conspicuous by her absence for the last 5 years). A name and shame list is needed in the city, either front up or get out.
- The wee shake last week was an unpleasant reminder, that it’s not over till it’s over. 30 more years some cheerful soul told me a few days ago. It has interrupted our works programme as we had to rake and plaster some gib, that had just been under-coated in preparation for final painting. Next time we will batten the gib, I see no point in endless plastering/repainting. Seems to me that Gib is not the product to use in Christchurch, I am going to start investigating alternatives.
- Work has restarted on the fit out off 2 of the Duncan’s Units at the other end of our row. Great to see.
- The work on the McKenzie and Willis site is racing ahead. I think its due to be completed in September.
- Both the Vodafone and Katmandu buildings are close to being finished, I have not seen a recent ETA on these.
- Otherwise all is quiet and boring. We can see no point at his stage in attempting to open our retail area. That would be retail suicide.
ho humm, 5 years on not much has changed. Talk about depressing. Retirement is looming I feel it in my bones. I think I will move out of the city. Some where, where there are no quakes, floods, fires, plagues of locusts/rats, government agencies, CERA/CCDU/REGENERATE/CCC/SOUTHERN RESPONSE etc…. and so the list goes on.