Panuku commits to refurbishing dilapidated building

Uncertainty about the timing of Penlink is one reason that has been given for a lack of much-needed repair work on a rental property owned by Auckland Transport (AT).

The site at 1 Brightside Road was purchased by the former Rodney District Council for work associated with Penlink. It is leased by Auckland Council’s property arm, Panuku Development.

When the shop and residential part of the property was vacated late last year, it needed such major repairs that it was unable to be re-let until those were completed.

Since the story about the poor condition of the property was published in Hibiscus Matters’ March 1 edition, Panuku has advised that not knowing the estimated commencement date for Penlink limited the feasible refurbishment and leasing options.

However, last week Panuku’s Portfolio Management director, Ian Wheeler, said AT recently confirmed that 1 Brightside Road will be held for another 10 years and Panuku has therefore instructed contractors to quote for a full refurbishment. The work will be carried out at AT’s expense and is understood to include re-wiring, roof and joinery repairs, re-carpeting and the removal of asbestos flooring in the dairy.

The former lessee of the shop and residence, who does not wish to be named, says repairs were ongoing during the five years of their tenancy, and while issues such as leaks were fixed, the sources of the problem were not. Because the wiring was faulty, the tenant says they worried that it could be a fire hazard.

Mr Wheeler says once the repairs are complete, a tenant will be sought to pay commercial rates for the property.

Currently the Hibiscus Men’s Shed leases the ground floor on a month-by-month basis. The organisation considered leasing the whole site, but commercial rates are well beyond its means as a charitable trust. Chair Maurice Browning says the members are concerned that they may be kicked out if a tenant who wants to lease the whole building on a commercial basis is found.

Mr Browning says Panuku told the Men’s Shed that they are paying well below market value for the ground floor. However, he says if Panuku wants to evict the Men’s Shed and re-let the ground floor, it would first need to be brought up to building code, which he says, will cost thousands.


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