Demolition of condemned Kensington Manor to finish this fall

The City of Calgary intends to shoulder responsibility for tearing down a condemned apartment building in Kensington after no resolution could be found with the building’s owner.

The privately-owned Kensington Manor, at 321 10th Street N.W., was evacuated in November 2017 after an engineer concluded it to be at risk of structural failure and an unsafe dwelling.

Following that, the building’s owner and the city could find no way to resolve the situation.

The city then decided to step in, in the interest of public safety, and hired a contractor to demolish the structure. The demolition bill is set at $2.6 million.

“It’s a shame that the city had to step in,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“It would have been much better if the owner had managed this situation so this wouldn’t have happened. But, ultimately, that building had to come down, and since the owner wasn’t remediating it, the city had to move forward.”

The city, however, does intend to recover the money spent on demolition — one way or another.

The cost will be added to the property’s tax bill. Nenshi says the owner could sell the property and use some of the money from that sale to foot the demolition costs, or, if they do not want to sell and wish to develop the property, then they must still pay the bill.

The city had given the owner of Kensington Manor until Jan. 30, 2019, to either start remediation or demolition. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

“If neither of those things happen, then the city will sell the property at auction and the first $2.6 million — and the property is worth way more than $2.6 million — so the first $2.6 million will come back to the city to pay that bill,” said Nenshi.

The seven-storey building was built in 1969 and housed street level commercial spaces and nearly 60 residential units above. 

Dismantling Kensington Manor has already begun, with work expected to be completed late this fall.

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