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Decision on Kensington Manor expected by the end of June
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:46PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 13, 2018 6:57PM MDT
It’s been about seven months since the residents of Hillhurst’s Kensington Manor were told to leave their homes because of a serious structural issue and the ownership group has until the end of June to decide on the building’s future.
All 57 units of the apartment building were evacuated on November 23 after a professional engineer found there were serious structural issues present in the building.
“He told us ‘evacuate right away and shore up immediately’. When you get that kind of information from the professional engineer who is doing the work, we believed that we had to act immediately and we did, as you know,” said Wayne Brown, Safety Resource Unit Coordinator with Calgary Building Services.
The building was shored up and then blocked off ever since to prevent anyone from entering.
Brown says that leaving the building to ‘sit’ carries with it its own set of problems.
“This is similar to a lot of buildings that we deal with, if you sit a building in the City of Calgary, eventually you are going to attract unauthorized entries, whether it’s a residential house or a building of this size. So if you have that unauthorized entry, you could have fires in the building and then you’re going to create that unsafe condition in the building by just having it sit.”
He says he’s remained in close contact with the ownership group ever since the evacuation and the city has handed them a Municipal Government Act order, giving them a deadline of June 30 to make a decision on the property.
“The June 30 deadline is for them to either acquire a building permit [for remediation] or a demolition permit and then to move forward with the work.”
Brown says that the group will then have until December 30 to complete the work on whatever it decides to do, but he says that the city won’t likely be left waiting for them to do what’s necessary.
“I’m expecting they would start immediately on either of those options and they would have it completed by the end of the year, that December 30 deadline.”
For now, Brown says the group is evaluating the options handed to them by the city.
Some Calgary residents say that safety is the biggest issue at play when it comes to Kensington Manor and buildings like it in the city.
“I feel they should do whatever is more safe for the people inside. If that means demolishing it and rebuilding it new, that’s probably the safer option,” said Mackenzie Newman, a student at the University of Calgary.
She says that if the group decided to knock it down, it would be good to see another building go up in its place.
“I think people like living in Kensington and more housing it always good.”
The seven-storey Kensington Manor was built in 1969.
(With files from Ina Sidhu)