Vandalism has forced Hastings District Council to put up a fence around the former Albert Hotel in central Hastings.
Contractors for the council began erecting the 2.7-metre safety fence around the site yesterday morning.
The hotel is on the corner of Heretaunga St and Karamu Rd and is subject to a dangerous building notice which was placed on the structure in February 2010.
Last month the site was bought by developer Michael Whittaker, who has announced plans to redevelop the former hotel into food outlets and outdoor dining. The Albert Hotel is listed as a heritage site with the Historic Places Trust.
The council's planning and regulatory group manager John O'Shaughnessy said the building has been showing a greater level of deterioration in the past few months and there had been some signs of vandalism.
"With the school holidays beginning, council is concerned that the building could become a magnet for children and it is important that we take steps to secure the property," Mr O'Shaughnessy said.
The Building Act allowed the council to erect the fence as it said it believe there was likely to be an immediate danger to the safety of the public "due to the state of the building".
"Mr Whittaker takes possession of the site in late January and then it will become his responsibility for ensuring there is sufficient deterrent for children and others from entering the building," Mr O'Shaughnessy said.
CCTV monitoring of the site would also help deter anyone from entering the building.