A five-star luxury hotel along the route of Auckland's $4.4 billion City Rail Link is fighting for compensation after disruption on Albert St could run close to two years longer than planned.
The Stamford Plaza Hotel believes it is entitled to compensation after work continues to drag on following an agreed completion date in March this year.
In a letter to City Rail Link Ltd (CRLL), chief legal officer Benedict Tan said the hotel had suffered from excessive dust, noise and vibration from construction works, severely limited vehicle access and hassles with pedestrian access.
He said the hotel was incurring losses from lower occupancy rates and food and beverage sales. Hotel tenants were also losing money.
"We are quantifying the damage suffered as a result of your breach of the terms of the agreement," he said.
The letter was obtained by the Herald through the Official Information Act.
In an interview with the Herald, CRLL chief executive Sean Sweeney said discussions were occurring with the hotel and he could not comment further, but he indicated compensation was not on the table.
"City Rail Link doesn't have the funding in its budget for any compensation claims.
"We don't have the remit from the sponsors [Auckland Council and the Government] to entertain them and we don't have a process either to assess them," Sweeney said.
Under an agreement in 2015 between the hotel and Auckland Transport, construction works had to be finished within three years, including the reinstatement of Albert St.
Sweeney said the major reasons for the delays was slower progress by the contractors - a joint venture between McConnell Dowell and Downer - and extra work requested by the council and Watercare.
The main works are due for completion in late November/early December this year and the reinstatement works are due for completion late next year. The contract is holding to budget of $175 million, Sweeney said.
In the letter, Tan also demanded CRLL halt work on Albert St by March 28 and threatened to seek an injunction from the courts if it failed to do so. Sweeney was unaware of any legal action.
Mayor Phil Goff has also ruled out rates relief to help businesses, saying it is not in line with current or past practice.
Heart of the City chief executive Viv Beck acknowledged a project of the scale and duration as the City Rail Link was tough on businesses and the delays were making it even harder.
She said the organisation had recently re-raised concerns with the council and CRLL and steps are in place to improve the way disruption is being managed.
Last month, the Herald told the stories of several small business owners along Albert St who were on the brink of financial ruin and paying a heavy personal toll.
One woman struggling to save her souvenir business was on medication for depression and an elderly Indian couple were working 110 hours a week to help their son run a small supermarket.
Sunny Kaushal, who runs the historic Shakespeare Tavern, said CRLL, the council and the Government should provide financial help to businesses "dying a slow death".
He estimates the "war zone" outside his business has cost $1.5m in lost earnings and does not believe it is fair Aucklanders and the entire nation will enjoy the economic benefits of the CRL but Albert St businesses will pay a heavy price.
Sweeney said he understood what businesses were going through and was continually looking at what could be done better.
The effects on business are not going to go away, said Sweeney, saying CRLL has been asked to build the project and there will be rough points on the country's largest infrastructure project.
The Herald is seeking further comment from the Stamford Hotel through its head office in Singapore.