Cranmer Courts appear doomed

22:55, Apr 30 2012
Cranmer Courts
GONE: Demolition of Cranmer Courts will start tomorrow.
1986 Cranmer Courts
HERITAGE: Cranmer Courts in 1986. The heritage building housed a restaurant and upmarket apartments.
Cranmer Courts April 2011
NEO-GOTHIC: The heritage building suffered further significant damage in the February earthquake.
Cranmer - stained glass window
SCHOOL: The 1870s complex originally housed the Christchurch Normal School.

Cranmer Courts residents have stumped up almost $1 million to stabilise their quake-damaged heritage-listed building and must this week decide its fate.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) issued the Cranmer Courts body corporate a section 38 notice on April 19.

The notice is not an immediate demolition order, but stipulates the building is considered dangerous.

Cranmer Courts
GONE: Demolition of Cranmer Courts will start tomorrow.

The body corporate, compromising unit owners within the complex, will this week respond to Cera. Member Rod McKay said residents were divided. Any decision required a high-majority vote.

Most seemed to support demolition as the cost of repairs was "just not viable".

The building has been red-stickered since the February 22 quake, when it suffered severe structural damage.

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Since then residents have each paid about $30,000 to make the historic structure safe. New Zealand Historic Places Trust spokesman Dave Margetts said the trust believed the building could be saved. However, he acknowledged repairs would be expensive.

The trust sent Society for Earthquake Engineering chief executive Win Clark to review the structure. "He said the damage is moderate to severe and that it will be expensive to repair and earthquake strengthen the building, and this will come down to the owners and body corporate," Margetts said.

The Press understands the Christchurch City Council is looking at ways to retain the historic facade facing the corner of Kilmore and Montreal streets. "We know what they want to do," McKay said.

"They keep saying it's important but there has been no offer of money."

The Press