Part of the Maison Cabriole Apartments in Tory St, Wellington, was damaged during the demolition of the adjacent quake-damaged Reading Cinema carpark. It was later found to be a leaky building.
A group of apartment owners in central Wellington are dealing with the aftermath of a post-quake demolition accident when a concrete column was dropped through a roof.
Maison Cabriole Apartments wraps around the corner of Courtenay Pl and Tory St, combining three buildings.
In the November 2016 earthquake the adjacent Reading Cinema carpark building was damaged and had to be demolished.
A judgment from the High Court in Wellington said that during the work on February 23, 2017, demolition contractors Naylor Love dropped a large concrete column through the roof of one of the units on Tory St and damaging other parts of the building. Temporary weather protection was erected.
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By November 2017 work had begun on demolishing the damaged parts and a “tent” was put up around the site but it failed in a storm just after New Year 2018.
The demolition work and stripping of lining and flooring due to the flood exposed that the four units had serious water leaking damage.
The body corporate management of Maison Cabriole wanted to demolish the four units and construct a temporary roof or have the four apartment owners pay for extra security to protect the damaged building from squatters and vandals while a case to impose a permanent solution was pending.
Justice Jill Mallon said pending the full hearing the Body Corporate should pay for security and who pays for it ultimately could be decided later, if the parties couldn’t agree.
The judge was told the building’s design and construction diverged significantly from the approved plans so that there were also structural support issues.
The Body Corporate put forward four options for the future costing from about $100,000 to $2.6 million.
Insurers would only accept cover for the demolition damage and the flood and settled the claim for $587,371.37. The owners of the four affected units disagreed with the way the claim was settled.
The judge was told the three owners of the four apartments – one company owned two units – did not attend meetings to resolve the issues.
So the Body Corporate has asked the court to approve a scheme to spend more than $2m rebuilding the four units and repairing the ceiling of the ground-floor carpark and storage units, with the owners of the four units contributing 80 per cent of the cost and all other owners paying the remaining 20 per cent.
A 79-year-old stroke victim who owns one of the units has been told it could cost him $551,105.
The owners of the four units oppose the current rebuild proposal. One thought the damaged portion should be put on a separate title and sold to a property developer.
The case is due to be heard in court in early 2020.
In the meantime the structure has plastic wrap draped on scaffolding but it is not weathertight and the scaffolding hire costs nearly $6500 a month. Vandals and squatters have got into the units.