Cranmer Courts demolition to resume

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 15:12 03/10/2012
Cranmer Courts
John Kirk-Anderson
GONE: Demolition of Cranmer Courts will start tomorrow.

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Demolition of the historic Cranmer Courts is set to resume tomorrow.

Annabel Sheppard, the lawyer acting for the body corporate of unit owners, said she had received word from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) that demolition of the stone facade would start at 9am.

It was expected to take nine weeks for the site to be cleared, she said.

Residents had opted to have Cera oversee the demolition, which would be carried out by Jurgens Contractors, she said.

It comes only six days after a last-ditch bid to save the historic facade, on the corner of Kilmore and Montreal streets, fell through.

An Australian had offered to buy the site and restore the facade, and all 31 unit owners had agreed.

The sale was conditional on the buyer doing due diligence, involving a series of engineering and insurance assessments.

On Friday, the body corporate got news the offer had been withdrawn.

The costs involved had proved ''far greater'' than anticipated, lawyer Michael Wolfe, acting for the buyer, said.

''It's a crying shame,'' he said.

The heritage-listed building was red-stickered after the February 2011 earthquake and residents spent $1 million stabilising it.

Cera issued the Cranmer Courts body corporate a section 38 notice on April 19.

Demolition started in June but was stopped while the latest discussions were held.

Sheppard said the householders would consider an offer to buy the site and restore the facade, but were resigned this was not going to happen.

''We've been down that track and it didn't work,'' she said.

The nine occupied townhouses, built later in Peterborough St, were not subject to the demolition, Sheppard said.

''At this stage their future is unknown,'' she said.

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