Board decides building should be sold

The Alexandra Plunket building in Skird St. Photo by Sarah Marquet.
The Alexandra Plunket building in Skird St. Photo by Sarah Marquet.
The possibly earthquake-prone Alexandra Plunket building is to be sold, providing the Central Otago District Council ratifies a decision of the Vincent Community board made this week. The 60-year old Skird St building is council-owned and the 10-year lease to Plunket is due to expire in 2018.

Continuing problems with a leaky roof and a decision of the board not to spend money on capital improvements because of the council's earthquake-prone building policy resulted in the society wanting out of its lease. It wishes to leave by the end of January so it can move into Alexandra Community House, which will open soon.

Council property and facilities officer Tara Bates told the board the property needed significant roof repairs in 2009 because of leaks and again in 2011 when the plunket rooms were forced to close because of the leaks.

Last year, the board decided not to spend money on capital improvements because any new roof would need a building consent and would therefore trigger the council's earthquake -rone building policy.

The building had already been identified as potentially earthquake prone and if any improvements were to go ahead, it would need a detailed engineer's assessment and possibly upgrades depending on the results of that assessment.

At its meeting on Monday, the board agreed to terminate the society's lease and that the building should be sold.

If it is sold, the society would receive a share of the proceeds based on an initial 21% contribution to the building costs.

Miss Bates said an accurate estimate of the value of the building could not be obtained because of the structural uncertainty and a lack of historical comparable sales.

Estimates ranged from $120,000 to $195,000.

The rateable value is $185,000 of which $51,900 is the value of the building.

The land the building is on is zoned business in the district plan, which could have implications on the selling price, because of the obligations under the earthquake policy. Miss Bates told the board residential activity was permitted in a business zone, subject to certain rules, which could avoid the need to strengthen the building as the policy did not apply to building used for mostly residential purposes.