Fixing Dux 'would cost millions'
Last updated 05:00 17/06/2011
Dux de Lux repairs and strengthening will cost millions of dollars, rather than the $390,000 fix proposed by its owner, the Christchurch Arts Centre Trust Board says.
Board chairman Deane Simmonds said structural repairs to the central-city restaurant and bar would have to be completed "before anyone is allowed near the site".
Owner Richard Sinke was evicted, along with every Arts Centre tenant except one, after the February earthquake badly damaged every historic building in the complex.
As part of his campaign to return to the centre, Sinke commissioned an engineer's report on the quake damage to the Dux de Lux building. The report estimated the bar could be repaired for $390,000, but that estimate did not include a detailed review of drawings or a detailed investigation of internal structures.
Sinke said he would contribute $500,000 to the cost of the repair work in exchange for a rent rebate if he was able to return to the site.
Simmonds said Sinke had underestimated the level of work required.
"Our report was looking at one end of the scale and Richard is at the other. We are talking about millions and he is talking about $400,000," he said.
"Richard's report has not addressed structural issues or the ground reparations. There are major structural issues that have not been covered off.
"The bottom line for us is we are not compromising safety, so we would have to ensure the basics of ground and structure have been covered before anyone is allowed near the site."
Sinke said repairing the Dux de Lux could take longer than his first estimate.
"It is going to take a bit longer than I had hoped," he said.
"My initial report was to bring the Dux de Lux back up to where it was before the September earthquake. We always said it would require more work.
"It depends on the level of strengthening they want to bring it up to. It will take a considerable amount of time to bring it up to code. How we bring it up to code is the question. My report was meant to get things moving along."
Simmonds and Sinke will meet today to discuss the engineering reports.
Sinke's engineering report has been peer-reviewed by Arts Centre engineers. Simmonds said the report did not address quake-strengthening or land repairs.
"The Sinke report has understated the importance of earthquake-strengthening and the ground repairs required," he said.
"The building would be classified as less than 30 per cent of code and the mandatory requirements the council has specified. Patrons would be at risk if that work had not been completed.
"If you want to open, you would have to restrengthen the building because the council are requiring that."
- The Press
I can understand some comments from both sides of this argument, but I err to one side, that of the ocupier of the Dux, considering the plans that the Arts Centre had in mind prior to the earthquake in September. I also wonder why some are commenting on Mr. Sinkes attiptude to opening the Dux, considering that the casino is in the 'red zone' yet it is open, so why can the Dux not be 'fixed' so it can open? Let Mr Sinke spend the money to make the repairs and that can be taken off his rental?
Is the Art Center management still looking at these plans to 'bugger up' the Arts Center?
Also, if Mr Sinke wants to continue sucking money out of us through takings over the bar, why then does he put up and shut up and set up a bar in another location?