06/12/2021 - 12:20

Water egress at Civic Heart 'not serious'

06/12/2021 - 12:20

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Finbar Group managing director Darren Pateman has played down concerns about water egress at the construction site of its $404 million twin tower Civic Heart apartment development.

Water egress at Civic Heart 'not serious'
The site of Finbar's $404 million Civic Heart development.

Finbar Group managing director Darren Pateman has played down concerns about water egress at the construction site of its $404 million twin tower Civic Heart apartment development.

Mr Pateman said the water leak, reported earlier today, at its 37 and 20 storey 1 Mends Street development, occurred as the builder Hanssen was excavating the lift core from one of its towers as it completed site works.

“This is the lowest area of the site and therefore has a thinner clay layer which is currently allowing some water egress while the builder completes the foundation work in this section on site,” he said.

Construction of the 309-apartment development, with an estimated $150 million build cost and anticipated end value of $404.4 million, started earlier this year after several iterations of the project were presented to planning authorities.

Potential drainage issues were identified during the planning phase of the development, due to its proximity to the water table.

At its recent AGM, Mr Pateman told investors the builders were using the unconventional method of condoms to help address drainage issues on site.

It is understood condoms are filled with bentonite pellets and put into PVC pipes that are then dropped into holes on the construction site and pierced, enabling the tradesmen to work without treading water.

Mr Pateman explained that there were “no other issues regarding water egress on site” and the issue would be rectified within weeks.

“Equipment will arrive next week to properly seal this small lift core area to enable the builder to complete the excavation and basement works in this final section,” he said.

“All basement works are complete on site apart from this small lift core section.

“The current water egress is not a serious issue and does not delay progress on site with a significant portion of the site now progressed to ground floor level.”

Finbar Group drew criticism in early 2017 about its nearby Aurelia project, when water leaked into the basement of neighboring commercial development 100 Mill Point Road.

At the time, Finbar Group said there was no evidence to suggest the water egress into the 100 Mill Point Road basement was linked to Aurelia.

But the builder Hanssen managing director Gerry Hanssen disputed this, telling media that the builder did not have approvals to pump the groundwater it extracted from the site back to the river.

Construction at Civic Heart is expected to be complete in mid-2023.

Work on the project has hit considerable delays since Finbar purchased the site in 2014.

In 2019 Planning Minister Rita Saffioti intervened to approve the project after it was  knocked back by a Joint Development Assessment Panel.

In 2017, Finabr revised its proposal for Civic Heart, scaling back the number of apartments at the development from 294 to 220 and reducing the anticipated end value of the development by 45 per cent.

At the time, Finbar refunded deposits for the apartment development, citing uncertainty with planning rules for its inability to secure sufficient sales.

In October this year, Finbar Group reported 117 of its Civic Heart apartments had been sold, to a value of $119 million.

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