Dangerous Auckland building sinking
The owner of a business located metres from a dangerous building in Auckland said he saw the structure sink down about six inches.
Paul Gillett, the owner of Precision Printing, said the western side of the Probett Building in west Auckland was under significant pressure after ground surrounding the area caved in following the flash floods on March 12.
He said he saw a window of the building crack yesterday.
The Probett Building had been declared dangerous last week. Under the Building Act 2004 a dangerous building is one which, in the ordinary course of events, is likely to cause injury or death to any persons in it, or to persons on other property. This included by collapse, but excluded earthquakes.
Auckland Council's manager for weather-tightness and compliance building control, Sally Grey, said the council was working with the owner of building to partially demolish it starting on March 20, in order to allow access to "remediate" the neighbouring culvert - the Clark St culvert.
It was an overland flow path within the culvert that caused the footpath to collapse into a waterway, the council said.
The council said work would begin yesterday but no demolition work had happened by late yesterday afternoon.
Earlier in the day at least seven workers were visible at the back of the building.
Three workers, who said they were from Fulton Hogan, were seen removing a wire fence from the rear of the building.
Auckland Council said the demolition work would be undertaken by the property owners.
The Probett Building's property manager - who said he represented the owners - refused to confirm if the demolition was going ahead, and when it would happen.
"With events like this there is obviously a large number of factors that need to be dealt with and we haven't got any comment to make at this stage."
He said he was not sure when they would be able to make a comment and did not wish to elaborate on the "factors" that were being looked at.
It was understood a check of the internal structure, including for asbestos, would need to be carried out before demolition work can commence.
The building's neighbours were concerned. Agnes Tua said she thought the building would come down if it was not demolished. Resident Justin Wang said he would not let his children near the building. He said he had not been told anything about what would happen next - and the building was a danger.
A tenant of the building, Robert D'Cruze from Delicious Cake and Pastry, said the property manager had informed him as early as March 14 the building may need to be demolished.
Club Fiafia, Happy Japanese Restaurant and Sake, Bula Barber & Hair and Delicious Cake and Pastry were housed in the Probett Building.
Just meters away Bike Barn, although given all-clear by Auckland Council, was still closed due to flood damage.
Retailers in the neighbouring area said they did not know what was happening with the Probett Building.
However, one retailer who requested not to be named, said she could "guess" the building would be demolished given the number of workmen present.