Investors Fight City Hall

I have sympathy for the landlords as it’s their tenants that will suffer the most. 

The City Rail managers are a law unto themselves with an arrogance that quite takes ones breath away.

One person I am assisting owns a commercial property in the path of the proposed rail.

The City Rail managers ( aka Len Brown’s Auckland Council) offered him $1.3M for the property which has been in his family 40 years.  But get this :  The Councils own CV in 2011 was $1.81M and an independent valuation obtained by my client confirmed that it was worth at least that much – if not more. He is now involved in heavy legal costs which he has to pay

( contrary to the Council stating in its publicity that they pay legal fees).

It gets worse. The tenants who occupy the premises are also distraught as their lease agreement could be torn up with no compensation despite them having many more years to go. Their business could be well ruined in the  process.

To rub salt into the wound, the Council has made it clear that unless the offer is accepted they will take the property by force under the Public Works Act, which makes a mockery of the “freely entered into negotiations” promised in the propaganda  put out by the Council.

Indeed, while this disagreement was going on City Rail unilaterally started ground tests and blocking the drive way on the site with their instruments and workmen all without permission on the basis that “might is right”. It required the threat of a Trespass Order to remove them.

The stand-off is reaching a climax and it will be interesting to see who wins.

The owner and his tenants – or the might of Len Browns’ City Hall.

The landlords the City Rail has taken on, are not amateurs. They are justly fighting not only for their rights, but the rights of their tenants who will endure loss of business, noise and dirt for years for which there is no adequate compensation.

Having a City Rail linking up the suburbs is a good idea, and it should be done. But the manner in which the managers go about it, and the total lack of understanding of the issues affecting owners and tenants – let alone the public- makes one believe that Len Brown and his Council have let power go their heads.

Hopefully the case brought by the owners will bring about a change of attitude for the betterment of all involved. This story is far from over.

Tuesday Jun 17, 2014

Owners of buildings on route appeal to Environment Court over predicted noise and disruption from project.
Tuesday Jun 17, 2014

The Downtown Shopping Centre building, owned by Precinct, is in the path of the proposed rail link.
Noise, vibration, trouble sleeping, turning a popular part of Auckland’s waterfront and the busy Albert St into a construction site for years, pedestrian and vehicle disruption, negative economic impacts – big-time office block and apartment owners are headed to the Environment Court to fight the $2.86 billion city rail link.

NZX listed Precinct Properties, the Stamford Residences’ Owners Corporation and Tram Lease have lodged appeals against Auckland Transport, planning the underground tunnels between Britomart and Mt Eden and using the Public Works Act to try to force property owners to either sell their surface and subterranean properties, or in Precinct’s case, open it up for the tunnels to be created under a new 30-level-plus tower and mall.
Dates are yet to be set for the court to hear those appeals.



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