First the Albert St retailers rallied and now residents near the Mt Eden Railway Station are upset about the $4.4 billion City Rail Link, some fleeing what one called "a demolition wasteland".
Landlords who own places in the area have been advised to expect to suffer rent deductions due to the huge project disrupting lives and the work due to carry on for five years.
The rail project is not due to finish till towards the end of 2024.
Some tenants have left already, as they can't stand the stress, nuisance, noise, vibrations, dust, demolition and traffic movements.
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Others fear building foundations could crack and special monitoring systems are in place. The worst thing they fear is the spectre of having to endure the situation for five years.
Mayor Phil Goff said last month of disruption caused during the CRL's creation: "You can't make an omelette without cracking some eggs."
People living around Flower St and Shaddock St are concerned about the initial demolition phase when their places shook, but now fearing the next blasting phase when the tunnel or C3 contract starts. Then, they say, they fear all the years ahead as spoil is removed from the tunnels, equipment is laid down at the huge site and trucks roll in and out of their area.
Some feel powerless and are reluctant to be named, fearing further depreciating property values if they draw attention to their individual plight.
In May, City Rail Link said the hours of work on the project are "7am to 7pm, seven days a week and are planned to continue in this location until June 6. The work will create some noise and vibration."
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Sean Sweeney, CRL chief executive, expressed appreciation then for the support the project was getting from its neighbours "and we'll be doing all we can to minimise any disruption for them while our ground investigations continue".
Ground investigations started in Boston Rd and Normanby Rd on June 1: hydro-excavation, drilling boreholes to recover rock and soil samples, and excavating trenches to accurately locate existing utilities – gas, power and telecommunications systems and drains.
Andrew Murray, the owner of real estate agency Apartment Specialists, estimated rents could drop by $50/week around Mt Eden due to disruption, noise and other nuisance issues during construction of the CRL. However, there was still a shortage of rental properties, he said, which would mean the fall wouldn't be as sharp as what it could be.
"The people I feel sorriest for are those who can't stick it out and sell about two years before it's finished. They need to have the vision to stay," Murray said, estimating a 25 per cent valuation rise post-2024.
"One example is an Albert St apartment rented for $800/week where the landlord dropped it to $650/week. That's due to disruption around that area. And commercial units - even though we have one of the lowest vacancies in Auckland, some just can't be rented," Murray said, due to CRL construction effects.
Landlords trying to rent places, particularly close to the Mt Eden site, must tell prospective tenants about the noise and nuisance, he said. That's due to a clause in the Residential Tenancies Act which grants the tenant "quiet enjoyment".
Lisa Mak, a senior body corporate manager at Auckland Property Management, said it was difficult for owners in the immediate Mt Eden Station vicinity "but if they're prepared to put up with the next four to five years, the return on investment could be good".
She referred the Herald to building manager Wayne Brown, who expects some residents to leave when fixed rental agreements expire. Dust was entering homes if balcony doors or windows were left open during the day when demolition was busiest, he said. Dust mitigation measures were now being discussed, but nothing had been agreed yet, he said. Anti-dust plastic sheets might be erected on balconies, paid for by CRL.
He was regularly meeting with CRL officials, who he praised for being as helpful as they could, minimising dust nuisance with water and keeping him informed of work timetables.
"For example, they're doing seismic drill testing right now."
A pre-work foundation audit was carried out and checks would be made during CRL construction, Brown said: "I have no fears about foundations cracking."
Brown encouraged people to stay: "There will be upside in the long term. In the meantime, residents are going through a lot of disruption with noise and dust but CRL is doing the best they can to mitigate that. It's a very difficult time for tenants, residents and owners. This will be for five years, although when the tunnelling starts it should get easier."
Dale Burtenshaw, Link Alliance deputy project director, encouraged people to call 0800 CRL Talk, email email@example.com or visit the site office at 97 Mt Eden Rd, open 8am-5pm.
"We acknowledge there is going to be some inconvenience and frustration while construction is underway, but the future benefits are many," he said.
Dust is being managed during demolition work with water but air monitoring is carried out. Vibrations were from buildings being demolished but they were generally low-rise with concrete block walls or timber or steel frames so noticeable vibration could largely be avoided. Excavators were used to demolish buildings piece by piece and again noise and vibration specialist was engaged to monitor activity. The noise was generally being measured as well, Burtenshaw said.