Building inspectors say the deteriorating veranda on the Hallenstein's Building in Whanganui's central city is "unsightly" but it has no imminent structural issues.

The Class B heritage building on the corner of Victoria Ave and Ridgway St is owned by William Cheng, who lives in Singapore.

Whanganui District Council building control manager Greg Hoobin says his staff have been regularly visiting the property to inspect the veranda from below. The last inspection was on Tuesday, July 9.

"They found that there are no imminent structural issues with the veranda despite the unsightly appearance of its soffits and will continue to monitor this closely," Hoobin said.

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"We are having ongoing correspondence with the building owner/agent about the building's maintenance and possible solutions."

Although there are funds available to assist with the preservation of heritage buildings, Hoobin said the council did not offer financial assistance for the routine repair and maintenance of buildings.

"In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the safety of the building as there is no obligation under the Building Act to maintain the aesthetics of a building, other than ensuring it does not become dangerous or insanitary. Once officers believe the building has reached this threshold more formal action can be taken."

The heritage Hallenstein's Building has been empty since the previous tenant moved out, citing lack of maintenance and a dangerous veranda.
The heritage Hallenstein's Building has been empty since the previous tenant moved out, citing lack of maintenance and a dangerous veranda.

Council staff first made contact with Cheng on September 18, 2017, after they became aware of the veranda's state of disrepair, and there has been ongoing correspondence about repairing the building.

Darrell Smith, owner of clothing store Andersons, moved his business out of the building in April 2018, citing a lack of maintenance over eight years and a dangerous veranda.

At the time, the Whanganui District Council was considering issuing a dangerous building notice but the owner engaged a contractor to make interim repairs to the veranda.

The owner has made some interim repairs to the veranda.
The owner has made some interim repairs to the veranda.