Friday 14 October 2016

Anyone who wants to read this blog from the start of construction in June 2013 to completion in December 2015, click on the 'November' at the top of the months on the right hand side of this page. Then scroll to the bottom of the page for the first entry. Then go back and follow the months.

This blog has the most recent entry first so its reads in reverse chronological order.

Sunday 21 February 2016

Switching to Harbour Mill Facebook Group from this blog

Hi All,

This blog has been going since the beginning of the construction of Harbour Mill - well, a bit before that actually, and in that time, the topics that have been covered have been interesting and extremely varied.

The building is now complete and many of us have already moved in.

This will be the final entry on the blog and to start a new chapter in a new year, we'll switch our conversation to a private Facebook page.

It's been a long ride but lots of fun. See you around Harbour Mill.

Friday 1 January 2016

Update on access and paving around HM

Here's an update on three access/paving/stairs/lifts issues around the building.

1. Lift to the light rail

Lift access to the light rail remains closed, and it's not clear why. David from Ceerose told us everything is finished as far as they are concerned, they have done what the Council requested. But Council wrote this letter to us a few days ago:

"Reference is made to your query in relation to the lift at 280 Jones Street, Pyrmont.

I have spoken with Council’s Public Domain department and they have indicated that they are awaiting information from the developer to ensure that the lift, and access to the light rail system is safe prior to it being used.

In this regard Council is unable to advise when the lift will be open to the public, it is envisaged to be early next year however. If you require an update with the lift in the new year please contact Council’s Public Domain section."

This needs ongoing follow up until someone takes responsibility for approving the lift, or we could be without access for a long time. Just do it!

2. Paving onto the Harris Street bridge to Darling Harbour

Better news here. 

Anyone who has walked to Darling Harbour, past the park on Fig Lane and over the Harris Street bridge, will know what an eye-sore and uneven surface the bitumen/paving is. 

Council has contracted the work to replace the bitumen with pavers, and we have spoken to the paving company. Work will begin as soon as they return to work in early January. It will make access a lot smoother and improve the appearance.

3. Completion of lift access into Darling Harbour without steps

Again, some better news. We've previously written about the annoying steps built by Lend Lease near the new lift in DH. In heated discussions with the person in charge of the DH project, he assures us that as soon as they return to work on 4 January, they will make this the first job, as long as it's is not raining. We'll be glad to see these steps gone.

Doesn't look like much but they're enough to prevent many people accessing the lift and DH.

Finally, does anyone feel the doors to the apartments are too difficult to open? We've gone online to check how the door closer works, but cannot make find a way to make opening easier.

Unfortunately, Novas is closed until the middle of January. Has anyone worked out how to make the adjustment?

Thursday 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas everyone, and look at our lights

It's a pleasant surprise to see how the restored grain elevator is lit at night, and the facade of the old flour mill also comes up well. Quite a landmark now.

This photo also shows how few people have moved in - only one northern apartment occupied.

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Early Harbour Mill impressions

From Graham:

Elana and her friend have been living at HM for a few nights and they love the place. The apartment is finished in a high standard, and the people we have met are friendly. Seems like a good mix of age and ethnic origins to make for an interesting community.

I've been surprised how few people have moved in. It was busier with removal trucks today, but many people seem to be leaving it until after Christmas. The car park is eerily quiet.

After receiving delivery of some new stuff and a bit of old, the apartment is looking great. Here's a late afternoon shot of the living room, with its good-sized balcony.

One aspect that is seriously annoying is that the access into Darling Harbour by wheelchair is still blocked and has been for many months. I'm complaining at the highest level of Lend Lease.

I met with Lend Lease two years ago when they won the tender to rebuild the Convention Centre, Exhibition Centre and Entertainment Centre. They absolutely assured me that wheelchair access from Pyrmont via the lift into Darling Harbour would remain open at all times. Yet it has been closed since September, due to Lend Lease inserting four steps into the route to the lift while they undertake the changes. They might as well have built a mountain. I have been in constant contact with them and they make false promises every week on when the new bridge (without steps) would be completed.

And today they told me of further delays, and they would not be on the job again until 6 January 2016. Thanks a lot. That makes access to Darling Harbour for work and Christmas and New Year festivities very difficult for anyone in a wheelchair.

I plan to buy some shares in Lend Lease to attend the AGM and give the Chairman a piece of my mind for their disregard of disability access rights.  

And to make matters worse, access to the light rail via the lift will also not open until after Christmas, although nobody at Ceerose knows why the council will not sign off on the new lift.

So while it's great to be in for Christmas, the access issues are compromising the experience, and we're learning that taxi drivers often have a lot of trouble finding the building.

Monday 14 December 2015

The storage room and storage boxes

Too much excitement at the likelihood of settling this week to worry about trivial matters such as the storage boxes, but we will need to make a decision soon.

What am I talking about? Underneath HM is a large storage room, where people can put their bikes and maybe other stuff, as shown below. So what? (besides the fact it may quickly become untidy).

Well, there are only 66 storage boxes and 136 apartments, and Ceerose has not attached them to any apartments. Who should have them? It's not fair if people just start grabbing them. The body corporate will need to decide an allocation technique, but we could start the conversation.

Most people will want extra storage space. I think the fairest system is for people to bid for them, with all the proceeds going to a sinking fund or a credit to our strata fees. If they are worth say $200 each a year, that would be $13,200 towards the cost of running the building. Any other suggestions?

Or fair enough if the only thing we all care about is actually settling, moving in and Christmas.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Strata Plan is registered

Some good progress.

I spoke to the Land & Property Information (LPI) office and they showed me how to navigate their site. They also confirmed the strata plan was registered yesterday.

This is how anyone can check the progress:

1. Go to LPI website:

2. Click the Online Shop box in the middle of the home page.

3. From the list on the left select 'Document and Plan Status' (tenth item down).

4. Insert the document number, in our case SP92496.

5. And there is our document which currently says:

You can see the Document Status is 'Undergoing Folio Creation'. This means they are currently creating the Certificates of Title, which they started yesterday and it normally takes three days.

They will update the status on this page so anyone can check it, but the LPI person said it should be ready by Monday (yes, we've heard that before!). She said everyone she speaks to wants to be in by Christmas.

So it seems all official sign offs are in place and it's now the procedures of certificates and banks we need to wait for. Without 'counting our chickens', should be on for next week!