Leaky apartment block up for sale

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 16:11 28/01/2013
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ON THE MARKET: The property at 19 Murphy St.

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The owners of a block of city apartments are selling up after receiving a leaky building settlement payout.

The nine unit-titled apartments next to Thorndon New World in Murphy St still need fixing and are being being sold "as is" after last year’s confidential settlement of their compensation claim.

Body corporate chairman Michael Hewison said some of the apartment owners had "run out of steam" and the decision was made to sell rather than go ahead and fix it up.

Fellow body corporate member Michael Roach said the problems with the building related to cladding systems that were commonly used in the late 1990s when this block was built.

The Roger Walker-designed block, which was developed by Andrew Khoo, leaked around windows and flashings. Quite a bit of work was done over the years to stop leaks, but more needed to be done.

He said the building had a steel frame but moisture levels were too high in the timber infills. It could be upgraded as it was but there were other options which could include going up two storeys and adding another six apartments while the balance of the block was reclad.

Extra height was permitted and it was a good location –  tenanting the apartments had never been a problem, said Roach.

Agent Paul Hastings said  it could also be demolished down to the level of its concrete ground floor carpark and new townhouses could be built on top.

‘‘I believe that will actually be cheaper, especially given the experience of a property owner nearby.’’

The Thorndon site would be ideal for a developer looking for a site close to Wellington’s city centre, railway station, and Parliament, he said.

Free access was available across the supermarket car park next door by right of way.

Eight of the nine apartments were tenanted  and  one  owner-occupied. Total rental income for the block was $197,000  a year.

The deadline for offers  is February 14.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment confirmed  the claim lodged with the Weathertight Homes Resolution was settled  last year.

The Government has estimated 42,000 buildings constructed between 1992 and 2005 were likely to be leaky.

The leaky-building problem stemmed from shonky building practices, from the 1990s onwards. These included flat roofs, complex building shapes, narrow or no eaves and inadequate flashings around windows and doors.

Problems were common in high-density, multi-unit developments.

As of January 7,  the MBIE Building and Housing has received 6928 claims lodged for 9833 properties and completed assessments for 12,500 properties.

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- The Dominion Post

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