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The Heritage Hotel has a heritage-related leaky building problem. Water appears to have rusted the metal ties holding the double brick facade to the original building, leading to plaster and pieces of masonry to come off the side of the building.

The owners of a one-bedroom apartment in the hotel building had been advised by the body corporate that an engineering consultancy investigating the problems was unable to put any ballpark figures on the cost of repairs but they would be significant.

The much-loved landmark building in Hobson St was the Farmers Department Store for 70 years until 1991. It was converted into a hotel and apartments in 1998. The problems apparently related only to the architectural facade and there were no issues with the building itself

Apartment owners, said they were aware of potential problems when they bought their apartment last year. However, they were surprised that the body corporate had only just discovered the plastered, double-brick facade had been erected over the building's original walls. The body corporate advised unit owners just before Christmas that it appeared water had been running down the back of the facade and rusted the ties that held the brickwork to the original building. "All of the windows in the building are leaking, including the steel windows in the original facade and the new windows in the new [circa 1934] facade. "At this stage it is too early to discern any meaningful scope of the works, however clearly the outer facade will in likelihood need to be removed, window areas remediated, and possibly earthquake strengthened. "The scale of the work is quite significant in that it involves approximately two and a half sides of the building," the report said.

The units are owned by a mix of investors, individuals and the hotel.

Source: NZHerald

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