If any one decision reflected the arbitrary stupidity of the CCDU frame buy-up, it would be this decision about one block between Cashel and Hereford St. This area is designated for the Frame, and the CCDU decided they would go in and buy up all the buildings. It was then pointed out that some of the buildings had only just been built, were tenanted and going concerns as businesses. Two in particular were the Les Mills gym, and the Calendar Girls strip club. The CCDU has finally decided that the gym can stay, but the strip club has to go.
The Crown has announced it will not buy Les Mills gym or the Christchurch Club as part of its purchases for the eastern frame but it will buy Calendar Girls and the former IRD building. It intended to demolish the strip club.
Pre-quake, Cashel St was my hood. We had a carpark that was next to Les Mills. I never went to Calendar Girls, and don’t have any desire to do so. I never went to Les Mills either. But Calendar Girls is a legitimate business, in a building that has come through the quakes. I find it remarkable that the CCDU can wave their magic wand of demolition at a successful, legitimate business – because, essentially, the morality of the business makes them uncomfortable. Is this why we gave Gerry war-time powers? To crush perfectly legal businesses? If CERA wants to lead a moral crusade, they could start by having a hard look at themselves in the mirror *cough 50% compulsory acquisition of land cough*.
Also, the IRD building is a fine structure that could be saved, and should be. The other option – knocking it down, leaving the market to set the best rate for carparking on an open site – has been tried all over town. It doesn’t work.