Tag Archives: Demolition by neglect

Talking up modern office space to create demand…

With this kind of messaging in ODT (see below) – via Colliers – expect more consent applications for demolition and the construction of new buildings? Or was that “stand alone car parks” throughout Dunedin’s heritage fabric? See the ruination of townscape and listed precincts by a handful of rascal building owners who will not “build” in upper Stuart St, High St, and pending for Rattray St, Dunedin. Who has the money available for new-build officing in the CBD?

In Dunedin, it’s common knowledge in the building sector that strengthening an existing heritage building is approximately 10% of the cost of demolishing and erecting a new building (of similar scale) on the same site. People are doing their sums! Why else is fabric retention making economic sense right now for those actively engaged in heritage building investment and enhancing building performance. Good numbers of enlightened property owners* are at work in the private sector, keeping up the fabric, who don’t believe in demolition by neglect.

*Prospective tenants, talk to these people!

### ODT Online Mon, 10 Sep 2012
Modern office accommodation in demand
By Simon Hartley
Commercial property rents in Dunedin’s central business district have increased slightly over the past year, with other data revealing Dunedin offers employers the lowest operating costs and the most space for employees. However, Christchurch’s earthquakes have sent jitters throughout the commercial property sector around the country, especially for older buildings and how they may be affected by insurance premium hikes. Colliers International, which monitors 160,000sq m of office space in Dunedin, has just released separate annual reports, on CBD office space nationwide and a workplace report. As Dunedin lease renewals come up, Colliers was seeing a push from tenants, especially those in older buildings, to relocate to modern office accommodation.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Demolition by neglect. Townscape precincts.

About which, belated (after parapet failure) “buying of engineering opinion” can make sure historic buildings come down for car parks.

On Friday, Karen Ratten of St Kilda had a letter to the editor published, ‘Why the long delay in demolition?’ (ODT 29.6.12). Ms Ratten is firstly concerned about three car parks being currently unavailable for use outside Brocklebanks Building in King Edward St, South Dunedin. She then asks why the hold up with the building’s demolition?

The question could have been, why is demolition of the listed building required at all (the building has facade protection in the district plan and is located in a listed townscape precinct) – if it’s to create interim on-site parking? Given it was (still is!) possible to tie the building together and restore it, or retain the historic facade and erect a new building behind – thereby removing the public safety issue altogether.

DCC’s Alan Worthington, Resource Consents manager, provides reply including an inference (we’re way past generalities here, Alan) that archaeological authority processes required by New Zealand Historic Places Trust for the building have contributed to delay of demolition. This is not so. He then intimates something more useful, saying: “At the same time there may be other matters the building owner is dealing with.” Bingo. Just maybe, the Brocklebank family trust hasn’t finalised building plans in order to apply for resource consent. Who knew!

The other site…

### ODT Online Sat, 30 Jun 2012
Buildings’ demise imminent
By Debbie Porteous
Scenic Circle Hotel Group director Stuart McLauchlan confirmed a crane that went up behind the N. & E.S. Paterson Ltd and Barron buildings in Rattray St this week would be bringing the partially demolished buildings down within “days”. Two separate sections of the 136-year-old Barron Building collapsed in January 2011; parapets fell on to the roof causing it to collapse inwards onto the second storey.
Read more

The Barron Building, originally known as the Banks, Barron & Co. Building, was designed by architect Henry F. Hardy, and constructed circa 1875. The Victorian-era warehouse later received a very fine interior by architect Owen E. MacFie. The first bottling plant for Speights was housed in the basement (still intact) – potentially, a stunning adjunct to Speight’s Alehouse and heritage tours.

According to specialist engineers the Barron Building could have been saved following collapse of the parapet.

Keeping up a building of this scale is not usually prohibitive, cost wise – it does require diligence. It can ‘come down’ to having motivated owners and investors.

Long before parapet failure, Barron Building required conscientious owner-stewards to carry out cyclical maintenance (seeing to weathertightness, gutter cleaning, keeping pigeons out, removing vegetation and trees from mortar, repointing and so on) and regular structural assessment towards enhancing building performance – with all resulting work to be costed and carried out in stages (at its most affordable – given that for many many years Dunedin City Council has practised leniency towards building owners in regards to bringing buildings up to code).

All the people saying pull the old buildings down because they’re “eyesores” (see ODT news report above) and asking why private building owners should be put to the cost of saving old structures like these – the answer, respectfully, is that they need to get out a bit, to see for themselves what’s actually going on in the neighbourhood.

Building owners (good investors), with vision and means, are set on maintaining, strengthening and upgrading their heritage buildings. Their efforts are attracting higher paying tenants; and incrementally/cumulatively they are raising property values in the old CBD. It’s known as “regeneration”. If you’re a building investor who isn’t participating in this upward movement (where’s your diligence?) and your property is going backwards, you need to ask yourself what’s the sense in being left behind? Get educated. Those caring for heritage building stock are starting to make real money now and for the long term. They’ve done their sums, they know what it takes.

A sizeable cluster of Dunedin’s historic buildings in the area have been or are in the process of being strengthened and re-used. They include (no particular order): Old BNZ Bank, Standard Building, Old National Bank, Bing Harris Building, Clarion Building, Bracken Court (Moray Pl), Queens Garden Court, NMA Building (former Union Steam Ship Co, Water St), former Rogan McIndoe Print Building (Crawford St), 14 Dowling St, Garrison Hall (Dowling St), former Stavely Building (cnr Bond and Jetty Sts), Wood Adams Building (19 Bond St), former Chief Post Office, former Donald Reid Store (Vogel St), Milne Brebner Building (Vogel St), 366 Princes St… and more besides.

Again, WHY are we losing the likes of Barron Building, N. & E.S. Paterson Building, and Brocklebanks Building?

If you are a heritage building owner wanting to access available information that could help you conserve, strengthen and save your building, contact Glen Hazelton, DCC Policy Planner (Heritage) phone 4774000 – or Owen Graham, NZHPT Area Manager (Otago Southland) phone 4779871.

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### ODT Online Tue, 7 Sep 2010
Measures urged to protect heritage buildings
By John Gibb
Relatively cheap and simple measures can protect many of Dunedin’s heritage buildings from much of the kind of earthquake damage evident in Christchurch, structural engineer Lou Robinson says.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
8.5.12 Owners of neglected buildings
25.8.11 180 Rattray St, Dunedin: Proposed historic building demolition…
12.4.11 Public outrage – SHAME on those re$pon$ible for building neglect
4.3.11 Reaction to another instance of unthinking ad-hocism from City Hall
19.2.11 Owner of Dragon Café/Barron Building has lodged an application…
26.1.11 D Scene: Honour heritage
22.1.11 SAVE Dragon Café / Barron Building – Sign the Online Petition
13.1.11 Barron Building and Rattray Street
13.1.11 Banks, Barron & Co Building Collapse pics

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Owners of neglected buildings


[Thumbnails: ODT Files]

There are no surprises about the requirements on the separate owners of the Barron Building, N. & E.S. Paterson Building and Brocklebanks Building. Following the structural failure of parts of their buildings, for which the owners are responsible, the owners have been fully informed of their obligations. Further, had they acted earlier, as good stewards, to have their buildings structurally assessed and strengthened all that has passed since could have been avoided. All three buildings are located in District Plan listed townscape precincts. The Brocklebanks Building has a District Plan protected facade to King Edward St.

### ODT Online Tue, 8 May 2012
A ‘nightmare’ waiting to have collapsed buildings demolished
By Allison Rudd
The owners of two unstable 19th-century Dunedin buildings say they cannot believe how long it is taking to demolish them. Lincoln Darling, owner of the Barron Building in Rattray St, which partly collapsed in January last year, said yesterday he “didn’t realise there was so much red tape involved” in demolishing a building. Norma Brocklebank, co-owner of the Brocklebank Dry Cleaners building in King Edward St, South Dunedin, said yesterday waiting so long to demolish her building when its facade was ruled almost a year ago to be in immediate danger of collapsing and the building condemned had been a “nightmare”.

Mr Darling and Scenic Circle Hotel Group director Stuart McLauchlan said yesterday the demolition of their buildings was imminent. A contractor had been given the go-ahead to proceed and demolition could not happen soon enough, Mr McLauchlan said.

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Expedience: Dunedin City Council’s blunt instrument to demolish listed buildings

Resource Consent Application: LUC-2011-567
191 King Edward Street, Dunedin

Senior planner Campbell Thomson addressing the Applicant on behalf of the Dunedin City Council as at 27 January 2012, writes:

[excerpt, page 1]
“Your application for land use consent for the demolition of an existing building listed in Schedule 25.1 of the District Plan and located within a townscape precinct, at 191 King Edward Street, Dunedin, was processed on a non-notified basis in accordance with sections 95A to 95F of the Resource Management Act 1991. The application was considered by a Senior Planner under delegated authority on 27 January 2012.

“I advise that the Council has granted consent to the application with conditions. The decision and condition are shown on the attached certificate.”

Under ‘Planning Assessment’, Mr Thomson states:

[excerpt, page 3]
Affected Persons
No written consents were submitted with the application. No parties are considered to be adversely affected by this proposal for the reasons outlined below in the section headed Effects on the Environment. It is noted that the New Zealand Historic Places Trust were consulted as a Statutory Body with an interest in the proposal. Their concerns will be addressed through the requirement for an Archaeological Authority which applies to the proposal. There are no special circumstances which warrant notification of this application. While demolition of heritage or townscape buildings generally raises issues of public interest, in this case, the structural condition of the building has reached a state whereby removal of the building façade has become necessary as a matter of public safety. The key environmental issue relevant to this proposal is how to mitigate the loss of the building.”

It is unreasonable and erroneous, in the context provided by the letter writer, for the Dunedin City Council to state that “the New Zealand Historic Places Trust were consulted”.

It is unreasonable and erroneous of the Council to claim “No parties are considered to be adversely affected by this proposal”, supported by following paragraphs that do not mitigate the wrongfulness of the unjust premise.

The letter granting consent carries other instances of pomposity and disregard for due process. Where does natural justice fit?

This forum isn’t the appropriate place to debate glaring technicalities, in light of what ‘affected party’ status requires as a burden of care on the part of the Dunedin City Council. Suffice to say, the Council is telling porkies.

Furthermore, the Dunedin City Council cannot hope to reduce or limit the work, powers and functions of the autonomous Crown Entity, New Zealand Historic Places Trust, empowered under the Historic Places Act 1993, to just that of regulatory responsibilities regarding archaeological sites — for the Council’s own undemocratic purposes.

Certainly, not by Mr Thomson’s convenient slip of the Council’s red pen.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

### D Scene 22.2.12
Opinion: Protecting heritage (page 7)
By Owen Graham
When is a heritage building protected, and when is it not? That question is one that deserves closer attention as the effects of building neglect become more apparent in our city. In the coming months more gaps will occur in our city heritage precincts, particularly with buildings in Rattray St and King Edward St being readied for demolition. They were not damaged by earthquakes, rather by successive owners who have opted to diminish their attractiveness, economic viability and historical significance in what ultimately results in demolition by neglect. {continues} #bookmark

• Owen Graham is the New Zealand Historic Places Trust area manager (Otago/Southland)

Register to read D Scene online at
http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

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Disappearing heritage #Dunedin

Updated post 29.7.13

### DScene 27-7-11 (page 7)
Too many historic icons being destroyed or neglected
By Owen Graham
OPINION Now that [Carisbrook] is no longer required, its owner – the Dunedin City Council – is looking to offer the site for a suitable redevelopment. As part of the exercise, council is making clear to interested parties that a few of the last remnants of the historic grounds’ past ought to be retained for incorporation into future developments. The Exchange area of Dunedin today offers one of the best opportunities for revitalisation yet it is a very confused place . . . nearby, up High St and Rattray St, there are active attempts to remove all traces of the past, be it through active demolition or neglect by intent.
{Continues} #bookmark

DScene 27.7.11 (page 7) Owen Graham NZHPT

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Public outrage – SHAME on those re$pon$ible for building neglect

### ODT Online Tue, 12 Apr 2011
Dragon it down – iconic café demolished
Work has started on the demolition of the Barrons building, home of the Dragon Café, in Rattray St.
ODT Link + Photos

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Tweet:

(10.54am) @TheLogicStudio @10PARK Similarly, SHAME on those responsible for awful puns in newspaper headlines (especially when it’s a somewhat serious subject)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin Heritage: Central government should be contributing

### ODT Online Mon, 21 Feb 2011
Dunedin faces hard choices over what buildings to protect
By Chris Morris
The partial collapse of a 135-year-old commercial building in central Dunedin may be just the wake-up call the city needs, New Zealand Historic Places Trust Otago-Southland area manager Owen Graham says.
Read more

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Image ©2011 Elizabeth Kerr

### ODT Online Mon, 21 Feb 2011
The Donald Reid warehouse: Two options
By Chris Morris
Housing for students or the perfect home for a local government institution? Streets of empty heritage buildings lining central Dunedin’s streets could become a second home for University of Otago students, New Zealand Historic Places Trust Otago-Southland area manager Owen Graham says.

The largely empty warehouses in the area around Vogel St could be adapted for use as a future “population base” for students sick of North Dunedin’s sometimes squalid flats.

Calls for local government institutions in Dunedin to make use of heritage buildings have not been ignored by city leaders, and a building such as the former Donald Reid warehouse could be an option considered if the Otago Regional Council moves from its Stafford St headquarters.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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