City of Kelowna, UBCO sued over downtown building debacle | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

City of Kelowna, UBCO sued over downtown building debacle

Excavation for the UBCO tower is complete.

The City of Kelowna and UBCO Properties Trust have been named in a class action lawsuit over the construction of the University’s downtown campus that damaged nearby buildings, forcing many to find other places to live or do business.

The two defendants are among 17 companies, architects and contractors in the suit filed by two representative tenants who lived at Hadgraft Wilson Place and one representative company that rented co-work spaces in a nearby building.

The lawsuit claims much of what we already know: That as far back as July 2023, residents of Hadgraft Wilson Place noticed damage to the building just two to three months after construction at 550 Doyle Ave. — in the form of a giant hole — began.

“The defendants… knew or ought to have known that the shoring wall that was part of UBCO Development construction site was unstable and the excavation and construction work on the lands posed a danger to adjacent properties,” the suit claims. “However, they failed to stop construction and excavation activities on the Lands or warn the plaintiffs and Class members of the resultant damage and the dangerous conditions to the surrounding properties.”

In August, owners of the CoLab building complained of structural damage to its neighbouring building.

In November, CoLab and its paying members were told to evacuate two days before the City issued a stop work order. In January 2024, The Royal Canadian Legion building was evacuated and finally Hadgraft Wilson Place residents were given 48 hours to evacuate in March.

They are claiming negligence in design and work, failure to warn, nuisance and forced relocation.

“The defendants have failed to make arrangements for the care and shelter of the plaintiffs,” the suit alleges.

It also makes a number of as-yet-unproven allegations about why the deep dig for a four-storey, then two-storey underground parking structure caused so much damage to neighbours.

The suit was filed May 3. The allegations haven’t been tested in court, nor has the class proceeding been certified.

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