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Dead development shows signs of life

Thursday, February 4th, 2010 | 6:42 am

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The SHAW building on Leckie hasn't been completed in two years.

By Kathy Michaels

After two years of stagnancy, cranes surrounding the Shaw Communications building on Leckie Road have lurched back to life.

“We have started work again and we will continue to move this project along,” said Peter Bissonnette, the president of Shaw Communications.

“Right now we are closing in the entire structure and once (it’s) closed in we’ll deliver on all the good stuff on the inside… but the key was to get the structure closed in.”

The completion of this particular development has been a long time coming. Introduced to the community when the local economy was going gangbusters, it  sat in its unfinished state since 2008 when the word recession was still verboten.

Bissonette fielded calls on the matter back when construction crews initially vacated, stating completion would be scheduled for later that year.

Now, two years later, a resurgence of activity  has Shaw’s neighbours at Kelowna Martial Arts pleased, but they’re not holding their breath that the street will see a marked improvement.

“Hopefully it will be completed and it won’t just be a bit of start up and stop again,” said Chris Rowe, part owner of the martial arts school.

“It will improve the view, but the ground is still going to be dusty, dirty and muddy.”

The site has been a mess for so long, that Rowe can’t even remember the last time it looked presentable and that’s worn on him over the years.

“I can’t do anything about Shaw finishing it, but I just want them to do it quickly,” he said. “If they weren’t going to continue to build they should at least have made it presentable to help their neighbours out. As is, I have students coming into my martial arts school, and they’re staring at a chainlink fence when they come through. It’s not the best imagery.”

After speaking with construction crews who entered the site this week, Rowe found out that the plans only include closing the building in and putting on another floor and hopes of having the site landscaped and presentable are a long way off.

“From my perspective, they have the money to do all that, then do something to help your neighbours out,” he said. “But maybe this will be the spark to get the cogs moving.”

The proposed development was expected to consist of a five-storey office building, utility building and three-level parkade, and house the many employees that work Shaw’s call centres.

An artistic rendering of the SHAW building on Leckie Road.

The office building will face onto Leckie Road with the utility building and parkade behind. Vehicle access for office workers and utility vehicles is to be from the Hunter Road side. The office building will have a visitor parking area, lay by and pedestrian entrance accessed via Leckie Road.

kathy@kelowna.com

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2 Responses to “Dead development shows signs of life”

  1. logicalview says:
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    Kathy,

    How about telling us who the contractor was and why the construction halted.

  2. rset says:
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    More info would be good.

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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